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What hope do the wrongfully convicted in Tennessee have?

A conviction for criminal activity is always a negative experience. A wrongful conviction when you know you are totally innocent is even more tragic. Whether you have experienced a wrongful conviction for assault, a gun crime or even murder, it is important never to give up hope.

In recent decades, the news has featured many wrongful convictions in which the defendant has been set free. Some of these acquittals have occurred in the state of Tennessee, which shows how justice can prevail in even the most hopeless of circumstances.

One of these people spent 16 years on death row for murder because of hair evidence and a sketchy confession. A Tennessee appeals court eventually overturned his original conviction on grounds of insufficient counsel when evidence surfaced proving the hair did not match the defendant.

Another defendant gained his freedom after the DNA evidence responsible for his conviction was found to belong to the victim's husband rather than the defendant. In 2009, the state of Tennessee dismissed all charges against the man, enabling him to make a fresh start.

In a third example, a Tennessee father found freedom after the state dismissed the conviction that he raped and murdered his daughter. As with the first example listed above, the court deemed that the defendant's legal representation failed to provide an adequate defense by not challenging the alleged forensic evidence in the case.

If you believe you or someone you know has been wrongfully convicted or is currently facing criminal charges, there are paths you can take to find help. Consulting with an experienced criminal defense lawyer is an excellent first step in pursuing your freedom.

Source: Death Penalty Information Center, "Innocence: List of Those Freed From Death Row," accessed Jan. 09, 2017

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