New York man marks first year of freedom


Today marks the one-year anniversary of Roy Brown’s exoneration in upstate New York, after he served 15 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit. While seeking to overturn his own case from his prison cell, Brown obtained police documents identifying a man named Barry Bench as an alternate suspect. He learned more about Bench and began to suspect that he was the killer. Around Christmas in 2003, Brown wrote to Bench, asking him to come clean and help Brown clear his name. Days later, Bench committed suicide.

In 2005, the Innocence Project began working on Brown’s case. A year later, DNA evidence proved that Bench’s saliva was on the victim’s shirt where she had been bitten during the attack. No evidence connected Brown to the murder. He was released in late 2006 and officially exonerated on March 5, 2007. Since his release, he has been an outspoken advocate for criminal justice reform.

Read more about his case here.

Other anniversaries this week:


Richard Johnson

, Illinois (Served 4 years, exonerated 3/8/1996)

Anthony Powell

, Massachusetts (Served 12 years, exonerated 3/8/2004)

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