Being Cleared of a Crime Does Not Always Mean Release from Prison or a Clean Record
Date:  08-22-2012

Two recent cases suggest more can be done to protect the innocent
One would think that someone who was wrongfully convicted of a crime would automatically have his or her record cleared. That is not always the case. On August 16Reentry Central published Broken Records: How Criminal Background Check Companies Get it Wrong and Ruin Lives which included a report by the National Consumer Law Center detailing how companies paid to do criminal background checks often overlook expungements, or fail to report a conviction was overturned by the court. When a person who has been convicted of a crime is suddenly found innocent, their conviction does not magically disappear. For all intents and purposes, until the crime is wiped of a record, the innocent person will be considered a criminal. And even then, there is always the possibility the crime will turn up again in some document.

It should be that when a court declares a person innocent that person should be released from prison and his criminal record wiped away. In a perfect world this would happen. But in reality, things don’t work out so perfectly. The Lowell Sun reports on one such case, in which Dennis Maher spent over 19 years in prison until he was found innocent of rape through DNA testing, but still had to wait nine years for the court to expunge his record. click here to go to website

Daniel Larson has been found innocent yet still remains locked up in prison, two years after a judge reversed the court’s guilty verdict.The California Innocence Project, along with his family and friends are publicizing Larson’s plight in an effort to bring about his release. An online petition posted on has garnered almost 118,000 signatures calling for his release at the time this article was written. A technicality is responsible for Larson being kept locked up, and it seems the California judicial system is dragging their feet to free Larsen.

Sources: Sun Times, Los Angeles Times and California Innocence Project

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