122nd Inmate Freed From Death Row

Harold Wilson is the 6th Person Exonerated in Pennsylvania

More than 16 years after a Pennsylvania jury returned three death sentences against Harold Wilson, new DNA evidence has led to his acquittal. During Wilson's 1989 capital trial, the prosecution used racially discriminatory practices in selecting the jury.

In 1999, Wilson’s death sentence was overturned when a court determined that his defense counsel had failed to investigate and present mitigating evidence during his original trial. A later appeal led to the overturning of his conviction and a new trial because of the race bias in selecting the jury. The court held that at the new trial the death penalty could not be sought. On November 15, 2005, a new jury that did not have to be "death-qualified" and that was properly chosen, acquitted Wilson of all charges. DNA evidence revealed that blood from the crime scene did not come from Wilson or any of the victims, a finding suggesting the involvement of another assailant.

EXONERATIONS BY STATE
Since 1973

STATE - NUMBER
Florida - 21
Massachusetts - 3
Illinois - 18
Missouri - 3
Louisiana - 8
Indiana - 2
Texas - 8
So. Carolina - 2
Arizona - 8
Idaho - 1
Oklahoma - 7
Kentucky - 1
Pennsylvania - 6
Maryland - 1
Georgia - 5
Mississippi - 2
No. Carolina - 5
Nebraska - 1
Alabama - 5
Nevada - 1
Ohio - 5
Virginia - 1
New Mexico - 4
Washington - 1
California - 3

Read DPIC's Press Release. See Innocence.