Exonerees

Glen Edward Chapman

Glen Edward ChapmanGlen Edward Chapman of North Carolina was convicted and sentenced to death for the 1992 murders of Betty Jean Ramseur and Tenene Yvette Conley, spending 15 years on death row for a crime he did not commit.

During his trial, Glen had poor representation and faced corrupt police investigators. His initial lawyer had been disciplined by the state bar association for incompetence and his other defense attorney admitted to a drinking problem – self-reportedly taking 12 shots of rum each night while working on another capital case. Furthermore, the chief police detective for the murder investigation later faced criminal charges himself for lying on the witness stand to win a conviction. The detective withheld evidence about a witness identifying someone else at the crime scene, a victim being seen alive after Glen had last been with her, and another man in jail boasting of how well he’d hidden the body of one of the victims. The judge presiding over Chapman’s appeal also concluded that case documents had been lost or destroyed and that the prosecution’s original evidence had been weak and circumstantial. Finally, a forensic pathologist concluded that the death of one of the victims was “undetermined” – it was quite possible that she had died of a cocaine overdose and not been murdered.

On April 2, 2008, prison guards approached Glen Edward Chapman as he stepped out of the shower and told him to pack up. He assumed he was being moved to the section of the prison that houses inmates awaiting new trials, as he had recently been granted a new trial. When instead he was simply released after 15 years, it was the surprise of a lifetime. Prosecutors had dropped all charges against him, and he was finally able to resume his life as a free man.

Read this great Salon.com article on Ed's compensation struggle; it typifies the financial hurdles of many exonerees. www.salon.com

Ed also has a book out, "Life After Death Row: The True Story of Glen Edward Chapman". You can order it on amazon.com here: www.amazon.com

(above photo credit: Salon.com)

Photo of Glen Edward Chapman by Edwin Tse

Photo of Glen Edward Chapman by Edwin Tse

graphic rule