State of Conviction: Alabama
Wrongful Conviction: Murder, Rape
Exonerated Date: 1997
Years Served: 5 years
In the good ol’ U.S. of A., I thought, during a trial the truth was foremost and the court endeavors to seek the facts. That isn’t the case. Innocent people are convicted, and once you’re convicted, it’s difficult to find anyone willing to believe otherwise.
Randal Padgett spent five years on Alabama’s death row before his exoneration in 1997. He was convicted and sentenced to death in 1992 for the rape and murder of his estranged wife, spending three years on death row and another two awaiting a second trial. The case against Randal was based on tainted DNA evidence. In 1995, the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals overturned the conviction, as the state failed to reveal discrepancies in the blood tests that would have aided in Randal’s defense. In October 1997, Randal was acquitted of all charges.
Source: Witness to Innocence
Read more about Randal’s innocence here.