In the United States, our criminal justice system dictates that a person is innocent until proven guilty

However, there are some cases in which an individual has been wrongfully convicted and put to death. In this blog post, we will explore eight examples of people who were executed for murder but were definitely innocent.

Myles Joyce

Myles Joyce was executed for murder in 1826, even though there was significant evidence that he did not commit the crime. The primary piece of evidence against him was the testimony of a jailhouse informant, who claimed that Joyce had confessed to the murder while they were both incarcerated. However, the informant later recanted his story, saying that he had lied in order to get a reduced sentence for himself.

Despite this, and despite the fact that several witnesses came forward to say that Joyce could not have committed the murder (since he was with them at the time it occurred), he was still convicted and put to death.

Thomas And Meeks Griffin

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Thomas and Meeks Griff were executed for murder. It could be that they were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time and got caught up in a crime that they didn’t commit. Alternatively, it’s possible that they were framed for the murder by someone who had something to gain by their death. Finally, it’s also possible that they were actually guilty of committing the murder. No matter what the reason was, though, their execution was carried out according to the law at the time and serves as a reminder of how serious crimes like murder are taken by society.

George Kelly

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In 1949, a cinema manager and his assistant were murdered during a bungled robbery in Liverpool when a man burst into the manager’s office as the takings were being counted and shot them both. The gunman then fled, leaving the cash untouched. The police were under great pressure to solve the crime and had already interviewed 65,000 men when they received an anonymous letter that pointed the finger at George Kelly as a murderer and another man, Charles Connolly, as a lookout.

At their first trial, the two men were tried together, and the jury failed to reach a verdict. The two men were subsequently tried separately, and Charles Connolly pleaded guilty to robbery and conspiracy. George Kelly continued to deny any involvement in the crime but was convicted of the double murder and was hanged in 1950.

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Joe Arridy

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Joe Arridy had the mental capacity of a five-year-old and an IQ of 46. His greatest delight was playing with his toy trains and eating ice cream. In 1936, Arridy was said to have confessed to the brutal rape and murder of 15-year-old Dorothy Drain, as well as the rape and attempted murder of her 12-year-old sister. He was said to have bludgeoned them with a hatchet as they slept.

It is certain that Joe would not have understood what he was confessing. He could not have read the statement that he signed. His last meal was ice cream. Joe Arridy was executed at the age of 23. A friend of the girls’ father, Frank Aguilar, later confessed to the crime. He had never even met Joe Arridy.

George Stinney

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Credit: State of South Carolina

In 1944, George Stinney became the youngest person to be executed in the United States in the 20th century. Stinney was convicted of the murder of two white girls in South Carolina. The whole trial is said to have lasted less than three hours and presented no evidence and almost no eyewitness testimony. He was convicted by the all-white jury, after a deliberation that lasted only ten minutes.

Stinney was arrested, tried, and executed all within the space of three months. He was too small to fit in the electric chair and had to sit on a Bible to enable the straps to be placed around him. His sister and the rest of his family campaigned tirelessly to clear his name.

Derek Bentley

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Credit: Press Association

Derek Bentley was executed for murder on 28 January 1953, despite the fact that he did not commit the crime. The victim, PC Sidney Miles, was shot by Christopher Craig, Bentley’s accomplice. Bentley was convicted under the doctrine of joint enterprise, which holds that a person can be found guilty of a crime even if they did not actually commit it, as long as they were involved in some way.

The trial and execution of Derek Bentley caused astonishment and outrage at the time and continues to do so today. How could a man be put to death for a crime he did not even commit? Surely this must have been a mistake, an innocent man caught up in events beyond his control?

Timothy Evans

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Credit: WalesOnline

This is a tragic story of injustice, and it highlights the need for reform in our criminal justice system. Timothy Evans was executed for murder in 1950, even though there was ample evidence that he did not commit the crime. Evans was tried and convicted on circumstantial evidence, and the real killer – John Christie – went on to commit several more murders before finally being caught. Christie later confessed to the murder for which Evans had been convicted, but by then it was too late. Evans had already been executed.

This case made headlines at the time and led to calls for reform of the British criminal justice system. Sadly, cases like this are not unheard of even today, which is why we must continue to fight for fairness.

John Perry

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John Perry was executed for murder even though he didn’t commit the crime. miscarriage of justice like this happens when an innocent person is arrested, tried, and convicted of a crime they DIDN’T commit. In some cases, the person may even be sentenced to death. In John Perry’s case, he was arrested and charged with murder even though there was no evidence linking him to the crime.

The only “evidence” against him was the testimony of a jailhouse snitch who later recanted his story. But by then it was too late, and John Perry had been convicted and sentenced to death. Despite appeals from his lawyers and family, he was executed in 2003.


Max Zelensky is a writer who spends his spare time fishing. He's been writing since he was a kid, and he loves it more than anything else. He's always been fascinated by the way that words can be put together to create worlds that nobody else has ever seen before. Max is 35 years old, and he's been married for 5 years. He has one daughter who is the light of his life.

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