By Joseph Snook
Washington D.C. – 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.
“The courts 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.
Editor’s Note: 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!