Shareef Cousin

Shareef Cousin 2State of Conviction: Louisiana

Race: African American

Wrongful Conviction: Murder

Exonerated Date: 1999

Years Served: 3

Shareef was 17 when he was wrongfully sentenced to death for a murder, making him the youngest person ever sent to death row in Louisiana. Shareef’s conviction largely rested on the eyewitness testimony of the murder victim’s girlfriend. Shareef maintained he had an airtight alibi – he was actually filmed at a city recreation department basketball game around the time of the crime, and his coach even testified that he dropped him off at home just 20 minutes after the murder. It was later revealed that a detective lied to get a warrant and that the prosecutor told a witness to perjure himself on the stand and say Shareef bragged that he committed the murder, in exchange for a lesser sentence for an unrelated armed robbery. Shareef was later exonerated.

Source: Witness to Innocence

Read more about Shareef’s story here and listen to him on NPR’s Talk of the Nation: “Getting Off Death Row.”