One of those men whose plight I’ve reported on for CRTV and my syndicated column, former Fort Worth police officer Brian Franklin, spent 21 years in prison of a life sentence after he was convicted of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl in 1995 who had committed perjury on the stand. Franklin vigilantly maintained his innocence, studied law in the prison library and won a reversal of his conviction in 2016. The jury took less than two hours to acquit him. But his name is still not clear. He recently submitted a 200-page application for a pardon for innocence and cannot do what he wants to do — return to law enforcement — unless the members of the Texas board of pardons and paroles (along with Texas constitutional conservatives who pay lip service to truth, justice and due process) do the right thing.
In Philadelphia, Anthony Wright also served more than two decades behind bars like Franklin. He was convicted in 1993 for a brutal rape and murder of an elderly woman. It was a female prosecutor, Bridget Kirn, who “failed to alert the Court or the jury to what she personally knew was the falsity of (police detectives’) testimony, or otherwise honor her ethical duty to correct it,” according to Wright’s lawyers with the Innocence Project. They have filed a lawsuit directly aimed at the prosecutor this week to hold her accountable for her criminal falsehoods.
And just this week, Oregonian Joshua Horner, serving a 50-year sentence for sexual abuse of a young girl, was exonerated after a dog that the accuser had claimed he shot dead was found alive.