If you were charged with a crime you did not commit, what would you do?
Today, we are exploring yet another story of someone being wrongfully imprisoned. We never think that it could happen to us. As Americans and as Detroiters, we believe that our rights are protected and that “innocent till proven guilty” will prevail. But, what happens when it doesn’t protect us?
The Murder of an 8-Year-Old
It was 1975 when David Bryant went to jail after being convicted of a crime that left an 8-year-old girl dead. Bryant was only 18 when Karen Smith’s body was found. She had been raped, beaten, and murdered. Bryant didn’t know then that his lawyer wouldn’t provide a proper defense.
According to the Huffington Post,
David Bryant was released Thursday afternoon, not long after a Bronx judge determined his defense in the 1975 killing had been flawed. The New York Times reports the judge found the failure of Bryant’s attorney to consult with a blood and semen testing expert deprived him of a fair trial.”
Most of His Life Behind Bars
According to the New York Times, Mr. Bryant had confessed to the murder, however, “maintained his innocence over the years and said his confession was coerced.” Whether Mr. Bryant was too young to stand up for himself, too devastated by the crime he was convicted of, or because no one would listen until today, he spent most of his life behind bars.
It is never easy for those who have spent so much time in prison to step back out into the ‘real’ world, even when proven innocent. That is why it is so critical that we arm ourselves with defense attorneys that will fight to the bitter end.