By Joseph Snook
- Wrongfully convicted of rape and murder in 1982, Keith Allen Harward
was finally released from prison on April 8, 2016, nearly thirty-four-years
later. His exoneration came after DNA evidence proved he was innocent.
How he wound up being falsely convicted should cause any law-abiding
citizen to question our criminal justice system.
allowed it," stated Harward as he spoke last week before the
National Commission on Forensic Science in Washington D.C. "There
should be some kind of way that experts have to meet a bar, a very high
bar because you end up ruining (innocent) people's lives."
Explaining why this
happened, Harward continued, "...Just to stoke their ego's and
get a conviction. The prosecutor, the police and the judge - so they
could get a conviction."
"In my case,
I'm not the only one that was ruined... And for her (one of the victims)
to find out all these years later that a guy (perpetrator) was still
out there, and in this case, he was still doing bad things and that's
true with wrongful convictions..."
Giving more context
to those who suffer from wrongful convictions, Harward continued, “I
was spared the death penalty; my parents were not. Every day they had
to deal with it, and it killed them."
According to the
Innocence Project, hundreds of exonerees were found guilty with the
use of faulty forensic science in 46 percent of the wrongful convictions
they helped overturn, second only to mistaken identifications.
Over the last year,
Harward has traveled around the country speaking at events about the
flaws of bite-mark evidence that sent him away for so many years, along
with other faulty forensic science matters.
In the future, Harward
plans on continuing his efforts to educate others, which will likely
get more difficult. Shortly before his speech last week, the U.S. Department
of Justice announced that the charter which funds the National Commission
on Forensic Science would not be renewed.
Harward, the only
exoneree to ever speak before the commission, will likely be the only
one who ever had that chance.
If you or someone you know are facing false criminal charges, contact
the US~Observer immediately. We have helped vindicate people in
thousands of cases over the last twenty-six years!
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