Nathson “Nate” Fields

Nate FieldsState of Conviction: Illinois

Race: African American

Wrongful Conviction: Murder

Exonerated Date: 2009

Years Served: 20

Nathson “Nate” Fields was acquitted on April 8, 2009, of double homicide for which he spent almost 20 years in prison, including more than 11 years on death row. The crime occurred in 1984, when Nate, a young gang leader at the time, was accused with a co-defendant of killing rivals of the El Rukn gang in Chicago. The judge in his case, Thomas J. Maloney, took a $10,000 bribe, but returned the money when he discovered he was under federal investigation. The judge went to prison for 13 years, and Nate’s conviction was overturned when the corruption was uncovered. Nate was acquitted after a new trial in 1998, but remained incarcerated until a former death row inmate, Aaron Patterson, bailed him out in 2003. In the retrial, as in similar cases of wrongful conviction, his co-defendant pled guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for testimony against Nate. Nate was finally exonerated.

Source: Witness to Innocence

Read more about Nate’s story here.