John Edward Smith
John Edward Smith was just 18 years old when he was arrested for and ultimately convicted of a shooting murder he did not commit. The lone eyewitness – also a victim of the shooting -- said police pressured him to identify John Smith as the shooter but later tried to tell authorities he couldn’t identify the shooter.
Feeling pressure when he saw his friend’s mother crying in the courtroom, this sixteen-year-old thought he didn’t have a choice but to identify John. When the eyewitness met with representatives of Innocence Matters, the witness blurted out that he lied during the trial.
Prosecutors told the judge that they now believe he lied when he testified at trial. After 19 years in prison, John was released.