A man who spent twenty years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit has been released and awarded $45 million.
It can be easy for someone to become wrongfully convicted…
Either due to false identification from eyewitnesses…
Or perhaps false forensic evidence or perjury.
The list can keep going as to what causes false convictions.
As of August 8, 2022, the National Registry of Exonerations listed 3,200 people who were convicted of a crime in the US and were later exonerated.
And this man, in particular, was 1 who fell victim to false conviction.
After years of spending time in prison, he finally got exonerated.
As well as your regular everyday people, celebrities face jail time as well.
And some were for crimes you wouldn’t believe.
Before we get into the wrongfully convicted man story, let’s have a look at some of the celebrities who broke the law and faced jail time…
Mark Wahlberg served time in prison when he was just sixteen years old.
The Boogie Nights actor committed a spate of racially motivated crimes during his teen years, according to The Independent.
He was put behind bars for 3 months for the assault of 2 men whilst trying to rob a convenience store.
Although he was sentenced to 2 years, he actually only served forty-five days in prison.
Martha Stewart is another celebrity to have been behind bars.
As such a well-respected figure in the culinary world, no one would have suspected the TV chef to have ever stepped a foot wrong.
However, the eighty-one-year-old served 5 months back in 2004.
She also had to pay a fine of $30,000.
Stewart was found guilty of making false statements to federal authorities, as well as conspiracy and obstruction of an agency proceeding.
As per The Mirror, Stewart said of the ordeal: “It was horrifying and no one, no one, should have to go through that kind of indignity really except for murderers, and there are a few other categories, but no one should have to go through that.”
The Avengers star Robert Downey Jr. has served multiple sentences in his life.
During the late nineties, the star struggled with drug addiction and spent time in prison as a result.
In 1997, he was ordered to serve 180-day sentence for probation violations.
But that’s not all…
In 1999, he was sentenced to 3 years after he didn’t show up to a drugs test that the courts had ordered.
He served twelve months of his sentence before a judge freed him.
Desperate Housewives star Felicity Huffman is another celeb to have spent time in jail.
The actress was embroiled in the college admissions scandal back in 2019.
Huffman served fourteen days behind bars in 2019 after being found guilty of having paid someone to correct her daughter’s SAT answers.
She also had to pay a $30,000 fine and complete 250 hours of community service.
Jersey Shore star Mike Sorrentino was sentenced in 2018…
He was made to serve 8 months, but scroll on to discover what for…
This was for failing to pay his taxes.
According to Ranker, he was also given a $10,000 fine, 500 hours of community service and 2 years of supervised release.
Actor and rapper Ja Rule spent over 2 years behind bars…
The forty-six-year-old went to jail for unauthorized possession of a firearm.
However, while inside he received an additional sentence for failing to pay his taxes.
This meant that once he was released from state prison in 2013, he was immediately put into federal custody to serve even more time.
The former star of Saved by the Bell Dustin Diamond is another celeb who knows what it’s like on the inside…
The forty-four-year-old actor was arrested in 2014, and sentenced in 2015, The Sun reports.
He was arrested after being involved in a brawl that ended up with a man being stabbed.
This resulted in a conviction for disorderly conduct and carrying a concealed weapon.
Actor Danny Trejo is another celebrity who has been to prison…
As Ranker reports, Trejo spent many a year in and out of prison during his younger years.
His crimes include assault, burglary and drug possession.
Trejo even spent time inside the notorious San Quentin State Prison in California.
Before Tim Allen became an actor, he spent just over 2 years in prison.
Scroll on to learn why the Toy Story star was in there for so long…
He was convicted of trying to smuggle c*****e into the country.
Allen only avoided a life sentence by trading information about other drug dealers in exchange for a shorter sentence.
Rapper 50 Cent is another celebrity who has been to jail.
He faced multiple charges to do with drugs back in 1994.
As he was aged just sixteen at the time, he was sent to a correctional boot camp.
He spent 6 months inside before being released.
Another big name to spend time in prison is Sean Penn.
The star of hits such as Milk and Dead Man Walking is a beloved name, but the story of how he ended up behind bars is shocking…
Penn was actually sentenced due to an incident on set.
The movie star punched an extra on the set of Colors, as per Ranker, which landed him with a sixty-day sentence in 1987.
Perhaps one of the most notorious stories of a celeb spending time in jail is that of Chris Brown…
He spent a few months in jail back in 2014.
The singer and actor was arrested due to an incident that happened whilst he was on probation…
According to The Guardian, he was ordered to spend 131 days in prison due to the altercation, after having already served 234 days in a rehab facility.
However, this probation harks all the way back to 2009 when he was convicted of the assault of his former girlfriend Rihanna.
Brown was put on 5 years probation as a result of the altercation.
Another celeb who knows what life is like behind bars is Kiefer Sutherland.
The star of Designated Survivor served forty-eight days for DUI charges and violating his probation.
This was back in 2007, but he has a long history of arrests…
According to PEOPLE, Sutherland was also arrested in 1989 and 1993, both times for DUI.
Oscar award-winner Jane Fonda has also spent time in jail.
Way back in 1970, she was accused of drug smuggling, as per The Mirror.
However, the allegations turned out to be false, with the orders to arrest her allegedly having come straight from the White House.
Police seized her bag once she arrived in Cleveland, but the ‘drugs’ ended up just being vitamins. She did, however, still spend the night in jail.
Singer and rapper Lauryn Hill spent time in prison back in 2013.
She served 3 months inside for failing to file her taxes, but that’s not all…
The Fugees star then had to spent another 3 months confined to her home.
She also had to pay back the money that she owed, as well as have another year of supervised probation.
Another superstar to serve jail time is Paul McCartney.
The Beatles band member was arrested in Tokyo in 1980.
After landing in the country with both his family and his band at the time, Wings, customs officers discovered something…
This discovery landed McCartney in some pretty hot water…
He had almost 8 ounces of marijuana in his luggage, which led to his arrest.
But it could have been much worse…
Because of the amount he was found with, he could have been charged with drug smuggling…
However, instead, he was sent to jail and served 9 days before being deported to the UK.
Rapper Lil’ Kim is another celebrity who has spent time in prison.
The star spent 1 year inside back in 2005.
This was due to lying to the federal grand jury about a shootout which involved her friends.
She was also ordered to pay a $50,000 fine.
However, there can also be false convictions when sentencing someone to prison.
But the majority of the time, it usually happens to none celebrities.
A man who spent twenty years of his life behind bars became free after finding out he was wrongfully convicted.
In 1991, Roger ‘Dean’ Gillispie was convicted of kidnapping, r*ping as well as aggravated robbery.
He had a fifty-six-year debt to pay to society but only ended up paying for twenty years.
He eventually walked to freedom in 2011.
However, it wasn’t until ten years after he was released from prison he was declared innocent.
Since then, he was awarded a settlement of $45 million, which was the largest payout in all of Ohio’s history.
Mark Godsey, director of the Ohio Innocence Project, which worked to free Gillispie from his wrongful imprisonment, welcomed the move but said “nothing can repay” the horrors Dean had experienced.
“The horror inflicted on Dean and his family and community is hard to wrap your mind around,” he said.
“The way the authorities pushed through a conviction and then fought back and refused to admit a mistake was so disappointing. Nothing can repay Dean for the horror.”
He continued: “The jury’s verdict sends a strong message that those in power need to change the way they do things.”
After being proved innocent, Dean took a moment to think about the thousands of other wrongfully convicted people behind bars.
“I’m just one of 3,199 people that this happened to in the United States of America.
“Those people have served over 28,000 years in prison for crimes they did not commit. This has to stop. This system has to be fixed. The Ohio Innocence Project saved my life,” he said.
What do you think?