County of Conviction: Stanislaus County, California
Wrongful Conviction: Arson, Triple Murder
Exonerated Date: 2013
Years Served: 16
George Souliotes spent 16 years in prison after he was wrongfully convicted of arson and triple murder. In 1997, his rental property in Modesto burned to the ground in the middle of the night, and three tenants died in the fire. Investigators determined the house fire had been deliberately set. Despite an eyewitness’s uncertainty in identifying George’s car and photo in a lineup, he was charged. The prosecution’s case theorized that George intentionally set the fire to collect insurance money. He was convicted and sentenced to three life terms without parole. After ten years, the federal district court found compelling evidence of innocence based on the faulty fire science and the unreliable eyewitness identification, and ordered a retrial.
Source: Northern California Innocence Project
Read more about George’s story here.