The Alan West Story: Why An Innocent Man Pled Guilty

Law360, New York (May 26, 2016, 3:16 PM EDT) -- Gregory Morvillo

Caitlin Sikes In 1966, Henry Alford entered a guilty plea to a second-degree murder charge while maintaining his actual innocence of that crime. Alford entered his plea because his lawyer said the evidence was overwhelming, and if Alford chose trial he would likely receive the death penalty. Thus, a North Carolina judge accepted the plea and sentenced Alford to 30 years in prison. The United States Supreme Court granted cert and ruled that it was possible to knowingly and rationally plead guilty to a crime and maintain one's innocence of that crime at the same time.

In November 2014,...

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