Falsely accused people have been serving valuable time in prison for crimes they did not commit, and the reason for this issue is the fact that the justice system does not try as hard as they could to prove someone innocent. Two people in particular have experienced this horrible issue, Michael Blair, and Victor Burnette. Both of these guys have served an extreme amount of time in prison for crimes they did not commit, and here’s the case details in both of them. Michael Blair was faced with multiple charges and years in prison for something he did not do.
First Blair would be faced with a really long time in prison for capital murder. Wednesday, Blair was charged with capital murder because of the death of Ashley Nicole Estell, who was abducted on Sept. 4 from a crowded park in Plano, Texas (McFarland). This shows what Michael was charged with capital murder against a Texas teen, Ashley Estell, on September 4th from a crowded park. Second, Blair was already a convicted felon and claimed that he was innocent. A convicted sex offender that was 23 years old was charged with capital murder, says that he did not commit the abduction and killing of a Texas girl (McFarland).
This goes more into personal detail about the convicted murderer, Michael Blair, and the fact that he is pleading innocent in this capital murder charge. Michael Blair knew that he was not guilty of capital murder against Ashley Estell, but he would have a long fight ahead of him to get exonerated. The investigation would make him seem more guilty, than innocent. It is never a good thing for someone if they are trying to plead innocent when they made it on America’s Most Wanted. Firstly, even though Michael Blair was innocent he made it on America’s Most Wanted.
The police eceived more than 1,000 tips about the case, which made it on the famous TV show America’s Most Wanted Tuesday night (McFarland). Knowing this, it shows the severity of Michael Blair’s situation, and that 1000 or more people made tips about him. Next, during the search for Ashley’s body, over one hundred people helped out the police. Hundreds of volunteers joined the police in the search for the girl, and they found her body near a dirt road 6 miles away from the park she was abducted from (McFarland). The fact that it took hundreds of people to help and find the missing body, shows how severe this was.
The investigation and search for Ashley Estell was intense and made national news. The results of this started out bad but ended alright. Michael Blair’s results in this case did not end up as good as he wanted it to. To begin with, Blair would spend 10 years for a couple of crimes that he did not commit. Blair was arrested on Tuesday night in 1988 at a motel in Plano Texas, and was sentenced to 10 years in prison for indecency with a child and for burglary (McFarland) This tells the audience how long his sentence was and what he was charged with. Secondly, Blair did get off the hook with the indecency and the burglary charges.
Even though Michael Blair was a prime suspect and acting suspicious the DNA testing and evidence could not link him to the crimes committed, so he was exonerated (Hundley). This explains how Michael got off the hook, and was proven innocent for the crimes he did not commit. Thirdly, the district office gets a little personal about Blair getting sent to death row. On May 23, 2007, the Collin County District office says that they are not sure that Mr. Blair should be on death row for the slaying of Ashley Estell (Hundley). This implies that some people took this personally, and that some people are second thinking the whole case.
Michael Blair was originally sentenced to 10 years, but was all dropped when he was exonerated by DNA tests showing that he had nothing to do with the murder of Ashley Estell. Blair knew from the beginning that he was innocent of the Estell charges, but it does not really matter because he’s still serving a life sentence. First off, even though people told him he was in the clear he was not. “They said, “You are in the clear, nothing to worry about,” he said. “But they are digging deeper and deeper. This don’t sound like I’m in the clear. I know I’m in the clear because I’m innocent. (McFarland). From this, the audience sees how stressful all of this is for Blair when people are telling him that he’s good yet the cops are going deeper and deeper into the investigation. Second off, even though Blair was exonerated, he would still face life in prison. Even if Blair gets the new trial and is cleared for the murder in 1993, he will still probably spend the rest of his life behind bars because of four life sentences for child sex crimes that he admits in 2004 (Hundley).
So in the end he still en Hundlev). So in the end he still ends up serving a life sentence. o even tho he was found innocent he will still be in prison. Michael Blair was not the only one who served a lot of jail time for a crime that he did not commit, Victor Burnette knows this feeling all too well. Victor Burnette was cleared of a rape charge by DNA testing just like Michael Blair. Firstly, Burnette would spend a great deal of time in prison for a rape he did not commit. DNA testing has cleared a 30 year old Richmond man Victor Burnette of a rape charge in 1979, even though the woman who identified him says she does not believe the test results (Mather).
So even though Victor was proven innocent by DNA tests, the victim refuses to believe he is innocent. Secondly, the final bill that Victor was purposed with was outrageous. Convicted of a 1979 rape he did not commit is upset with a proposed $107,078 payment to compensate him for eight years he spent in prison (Green). Basically, Victor has to pay 107,000 dollars for the jail time he did not deserve in the first place. The fact that Mr. Burnette had to serve jail time and a fine of $107,000 is whats wrong with this case.
Burnette had a good life before he got arrested, and this whole process affected him both emotionally and physically. Firstly, the victim of the rape is trying so hard to prove this innocent man guilty. The victim of the rape says that she is not going to put up with the exoneration results and that if the state tries to bring it up to her again then they will have to arrest her because she will not accept it, and she says that she does not care what happens to the man, and she does not want him to be let go (Mather).
So even though the victim can openly see that this man is innocent, she would rather go to jail herself, then accept the fact that Burnette is innocent. Second, when Victor heard he was innocent, he did not have the same reaction as most people usually would. When Burnette found out about the results of the DNA testing he says that he was happy for only about three days but then it wore off mainly because he knew that even though the DNA testing says that he is innocent he still had a very long, hard battle ahead of him, to win the pardon to grant his freedom (Green).
Most people would be extremely happy to find out they are innocent, but when Victor realizes the journey ahead it instantly hits him with sadness again. Thirdly, Victor had life going good for him before all of this went down. Victor Burnette was a construction worker who lived near the rape victim, and he ran a home-improvement business, he then says that his parents and most of his friends are dead and perhaps the darkest moment in his life was when the jury said that he was guilty (Green). Mr. Burnette was hit hard with reality when he actually stopped and think how much more he has to go through to actually be free again.
Victor had a very rough path ahead of him after he found out he was innocent, and the rudeness of the victim did not help. Burnette was one of a small group of people that had to go through the exact same thing that he did. First off, Victor’s case is one of the oldest case of those group of people. According to the Innocence Proiect. Burnette’s case is the oldest case in Virginia that has resulted in a exoneration, and the weird part is, is that Burnette is the one who persuaded the scientists to test the crime evidence says Shawn Armburst of The Innocence Project (Mather).
Victor was a smart, confident man, and in a way, he was the one who freed himself. Second off, there has been about two dozen of the same case as Burnette’s in the past couple of decades. Over the past two decades, there has been over a dozen virginians that have been cleared and/or pardoned for crimes that they did not commit, which also includes capital murder. Most of which that have been cleared by DNA (Mather). With this information the audience can conclude that there has been a couple dozen Virginians proven innocent by DNA testing.
DNA exoneration is not very common as shown by the information above, however the results of this case were much better than Blair’s. Victor’s results were a lot better then Michael Blair’s. Firstly, after Burnette convinced the scientists to do their tests and prove him innocent, his lawyer immediately filled out a pardon. In Burnettes understanding he knows that the victim of the rape still believes that it was him despite the DNA testing done, Burnette’s lawyer filed a petition requesting the pardon of Victor Burnette on April 20th, 2007 with Gov.
Timothy M. Kaine’s office but he has not heard anything back since then (Green). As evident in the last paragraph, Burnette takes as much as he can into his own hands to try and get free. Secondly, Burnette eventually became free and innocent of all crimes pinned against him. Burnette was paroled in November of 1987, proven innocent of the crime by DNA testing in 2006, and granted an absolute pardon last year, but a bill has been proposed to compensate him on an amount based on a formula approved by the General Assembly in 2004 (Mather).
The hard work that Burnette put in all paid off in the end even though he wasted 10 years of his life in prison. Burnette’s case turned out a lot better than Blair’s case but both cases should have never happened in the first place. In conclusion, a man may spend a great deal of time in prison just because he was falsely accused of a crime that they did not commit. Even when they get out their lives will still never be the same again, because of all the time that they had to spend in prison. One way to solve this issue is do more DNA testing. And deeper investigations before throwing innocent men in prison for 10+ years.