Obie Anthony III
County of Conviction: Los Angeles, California
Race: African American
Wrongful Conviction: Murder, Attempted Robbery
Exonerated Date: 2011
Years Served: 17
Obie Anthony III was 19 years old and wrongfully incarcerated for 17 years. There was no physical evidence connecting Obie to the 1995 murder. Prosecutors relied on the testimony of John Jones, a convicted killer who claimed he saw the shooter. The attorney representing Reggie Cole, Obie’s alleged accomplice, discovered that the prosecution withheld that Jones fabricated his testimony. In 2007, Reggie was granted an evidentiary hearing where John Jones admitted he never actually saw the shooter and relied on a description his daughters gave him. In 2009, Reggie’s conviction was vacated. As a result, Obie’s case established that prosecutors granted Jones favorable treatment on a pimping and pandering charge and that Obie’s defense attorneys had not conducted an adequate investigation.
Upon his exoneration in 2011, Obie had to learn on his own how to establish his life again, from securing identification documents, finding a place to live, and determining his vocation. After successfully winning a lawsuit in the State of California for his wrongful conviction, Anthony’s activism was instrumental in the passage of California AB 672 in October 2015, now known as Obie’s Law. Obie’s Law requires the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the Department of Motor Vehicles to ensure that all eligible exonerees released from the state prison receive up to one year of transitional services including job training, housing assistance, and mental health services. AB 672 also provides a free valid identi cation card and a free driver’s license to eligible exonerees.
Source: Northern California Innocence Project