Monday 10 February 2014


Two Brooklyn men who spent over 20 years in jail for a brutal crime they didn't commit were finally exonerated this week.
Antonio Yarbough and Sharrif Wilson were imprisoned for the 1992 murders of Yarboughs mother, younger sister, and a cousin.
A Brooklyn District Attorney concluded that new DNA evidence proved their innocence and decided their wrongful conviction was prompted by police manipulation and forced coercion.

The Huffington Post reports that Yarbough was the one who discovered his family's bodies so he felt compelled to call police to the scene of the crime.
Afterwards, cops asked a shocked and grieving Yarbough to come down to the station to help them figure out who murdered his family. The boys were in their early 20s, frightened, and vulnerable to suggestion.
'Before you know it, I had this photograph shoved in my face, and I was being threatened and slapped around, and they wanted me to sign a false confession. And I wouldn't,' Yarbough said.

Yarbough's friend Wilson was also asked down to the station and was pressured and coaxed into saying that Yarbough was the culprit behind the bloody murder.
'I was scared, afraid; I was lied to, manipulated into believing that I was going to go home, if I do tell ... what they said happened.' Wilson said.
In 2005, Wilson actually admitted to falsely confessing that his friend committed the crime. Later on, there was cold hard evidence to prove that they were both innocent.

Last year, testing revealed that DNA under Yarbough's mother's fingernails matched DNA to another murder in 1999 when both men were in prison 'for a crime they didn't commit.'
They had a perfect alibi. They were locked behind bars and therefore couldn't plant DNA on another victim.
Not only was the DNA identical, the victims were stabbed and strangled, like in Yarbough's family's death.
Brooklyn D.A. Kenneth Thompson was responsible for the their miraculous release.
The New York Times states the D.A. was 'grappling with a metastasizing wrongful conviction scandal in which dozens of imprisoned men have asked for freedom, their convictions linked to mistakes and misconduct by police and prosecutors in the violent, drug-plagued 1980s and 1990s.'
The men were young, and unfortunately forced to admit to a crime they didn't commit in the belief they could go free if they complied with the police's orders.
Yarbough was sentenced 75 years to life and Wilson was given a lesser sentance of nine years to life reports CNN.
12 years after rotting away behind bars, a letter from Yarbough's aunt arrived and asked a pertinent question. She asked if they were guilty.
He wrote back to her, 'I was wrong for turning on him, but I was scared and pressured into it.' We're innocent, he told her.
Eventually both men were freed and saw each other for the first time in decades when they met in court on Thirsday.
Even though Wilson was forced into saying his friend killed his family, Yarbough harbored no anger towards his long time friend who was also forced behind bars.
When Yarbough was asked if he thought there was hope for finding his family's killer his eyes welled up with tears and he simply said, 'It's in God's hands now.'

Reference: dailymail

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