FIRST EXONERATED DEATH ROW INMATE DIES, by David A. Brener
David Keaton, Florida's and the nation's first exonerated death row inmate, died last month after several years of poor health and a history of heart problems. Keaton was one of the infamous "Quincy Five", who along with four others was innocent of the murder of an off duty sheriff's deputy which took place during a 1970 convenience store robbery in the Florida town of Quincy. Coerced confessions, unreliable eyewitness testimony, and a lack of physical evidence contributed to Keaton's wrongful conviction and his placement on Florida's death row. This was true despite the fact that the fingerprint evidence did not match, nor did the description of the getaway vehicle. The work of a private investigator tied ballistic and fingerprint evidence to several other men, none of whom was initially charged. Keaton was fortunate- he was not only exonerated- but was determined to be innocent within two years of being sentenced to death. Most are not so lucky. Since Florida reinstated the death penalty, there have been 25 exonerations, most of whom spent decades on death row for a crime they did not commit. Outrageous.