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Why Prisoner Proven Innocent Can’t Be Released

Picture this, you are 22 years old, in the
prime of your life, with a pregnant and devoted wife you haven’t been married to for very
long. And then everything changes one night when
a man is murdered in the street. You are accused of the murder, with the evidence
being that it was your face a witness saw running from the scene of the crime. That evidence is weak to say the least, and
seeing as you know very well you didn’t do it, you are confident you’ll get off. But that’s not the case, and you will spend
many years behind bars. A trial judge will say you are likely innocent
some twenty years after the crime was committed, and you still won’t get out. How could this happen? Let’s start from the beginning. The man we are talking about is named Benjamine
Spencer, and he was convicted along with another man of committing a murder on a quiet street
in West Dallas over 30 years ago. On March 22, in the year of 1987, a 33-year-old
named Jeffrey Young who was doing well for himself at a clothing company was attacked
after walking out of his company office around 9.30 pm. The police report says he was then manhandled
into his BMW by two men and drove over to West Dallas, and it’s there his body was
dumped down a dark alley. Police thought they had gotten lucky when
witnesses came forward and said they saw what happened. There were three of those witnesses, and they
identified two men. One was Spencer and the other was named Robert
Mitchell. But as the district attorney of Dallas now
says, something might have been amiss because the witnesses all knew Spencer. These people were not strangers. Spencer was by no means an angel. He’d spent some time behind bars before
for driving on a suspended license and had also been put on probation for six years for
driving a car that had been stolen by a friend. Nonetheless, as we said, his new wife was
pregnant and he was turning over a new leaf. After he was picked up four days after the
crime he wasn’t very worried. It was just a mistake, a case of mistaken
identity. But that wasn’t the case at all. Spencer had an alibi, too, which was the testimony
of a young woman friend of his who said she had been hanging out with him when the murder
and robbery took place. On top of that, there was no physical evidence
linking Spencer to the crime, just those witness testimonies. During the robbery a watch had been stolen,
as well as a wedding ring, a small portable TV, and a briefcase. None of these things were found at Spencer’s
house. Police didn’t have any fingerprint evidence
nor was there a murder weapon found. Many years later Spencer would say in an interview,
“I began to think, ‘Well, I didn’t commit this offence, the truth is going to come out.” But a few months down the line Spencer was
sentenced to 35 years in prison, with the evidence being the witness’ testimony as
well as a jailhouse informant’s testimony. It was a nightmare come true, Spencer’s
heart sank, his life was ruined. The father-to-be had become a condemned man,
and the state had failed to do its job in his eyes. But not long into his sentence Spencer got
a break. It turned out that the star witness in his
case had lied. She had not told the truth about whether she
had received a reward for coming forward and giving evidence. A new trial was set, but Spencer was then
offered a plea deal by the state. He could probably get out in five years if
he accepted this. But wasn’t this 5 years too much? And why would an innocent man taint his name
by admitting he killed someone when he hadn’t? In his mind he had been wronged, and accepting
a plea deal was just another wrong in the topsy-turvy world of American justice. Nonetheless, his attorney told him to take
it. Years alter Spencer would tell NPR, “He
was saying, ‘If you take it to trial, they’re going to try to give you a life sentence,
and they’re likely to get it. And I’m like, ‘I’m not going to plead guilty
to something I didn’t do.” Who in their right mind would? And so, he didn’t accept the deal. During the second trial the state prosecuted
Spencer for aggravated robbery and asked for a life sentence. The evidence again was a witness testimony,
with the star witness being a 42-year old woman who lived close to the alley where the
victim was dumped. It was her testimony that got Spencer convicted
again, and as you’ll find out soon, her testimony was hardly concrete. But she stood her ground, and according to
reports, was very convincing when she described what she had seen on the night of the crime. This was Spencer and Mitchell dumping the
body. Mitchell was also convicted again, and unfortunately
he would not live much longer anyway. So, now Spencer is back in prison again, looking
down a long road of 30-something years living life behind bars as an innocent man. His life now would be dedicated to proving
his innocence, and this would be a long process. Spencer got in touch with organizations that
helped wrongly convicted men who were serving time. One such organization was named Centurion
Ministries, and the people there knew that the state has sent down an innocent man. They built a case, interviewed over a hundred
people, and then asked for a hearing. This petition ended up on the desk of a criminal
court judge in Dallas named Rick Magnis. He said he wasn’t sure at first whether
to have a hearing, mostly because the exoneration wasn’t based on any kind of new DNA evidence. This is often what gets innocent people freed. But he later said in interviews that the more
he read about the case he realized there had been a lot of wrongs in Spencer’s conviction. Twenty years after the crime Magnis granted
an evidentiary hearing. The witnesses came forward again, and this
time two of them backed down. But that woman who lived across from the alley
didn’t, she stood firm again. She said she had definitely seen Spencer. As we said, there was a big problem with her
testimony. That’s because all those years later a forensic
visual scientist was asked to watch a reenactment of the body being dumped. What that was, was people in the dark pretending
to be the pair that dumped the body. After this, there was no doubt that this woman
could have seen anything other than a silhouette. No way could she have clearly seen a face
as she said she had done. That forensic scientist said with the conditions
as they were, a person could not have made out a face any farther than 25 feet away. But as it stood, the witness claiming to have
seen the men who was standing closest to the crime scene was 93 feet away. Again, just no way could have any of those
witnesses got a clear ID. With this new evidence Judge Magnis said ok
enough is enough, and he ordered a retrial on the grounds of something called “actual
innocence.” As for Spencer, he said he was over the moon
when he heard the news. Not only would he get out, but he would clear
his name, too. In an interview he said, “I was very hopeful. I thought that this is it. I’m going home.” That didn’t happen, though. Spencer said at first he was hopeful that
this retrial would take place within a few weeks. They passed, so then he thought maybe a few
months, and they passed. In fact, years passed and the only authority
capable of granting a new trial, the Court of Criminal Appeals, it seems did nothing
at all. Then in 2011. Spence got some bad news. There would be no retrial. While a judge said that indeed if the new
evidence had been presented at the first trial it would have been unlikely that Spencer would
have been convicted. But that same judge said because Spencer hadn’t
come up with any incontrovertible new evidence proving he wasn’t there that night, such
as CCTV footage or DNA that had never been tested, there would be no trial. The judge admitted that Spencer was likely
innocent, but it didn’t matter, he didn’t have the evidence to get that new trial. His attorney now says she needs to start again;
she needs to find this new evidence proving her client’s innocence. The problem of course is how do you find new
evidence 28 years after the fact. The woman across from the alley now won’t
talk openly about the case. Another witness died and another now says
he didn’t get a clear look at Spencer. This witness now says he felt pressured by
the police to say it was Spencer. So, that’s it. The only thing saying Spencer is guilty is
the testimony of a witness who its been proved couldn’t have possibly seen Spencer that
night. Everyone seems to know the case stinks, but
the fact is the justice system doesn’t seem to provide any solutions to get Spencer out. But there is more. There was another witness, but this witness
was never called. She now says that she is “1000 percent sure”
that the people she saw didn’t include Spencer. What about that jailhouse informant? Well, he now says that Spencer never told
him he had committed that crime. Records also show something very fishy. The informant said in court that he had not
received any benefit from giving that statement. But this guy was looking at a 25 year sentence
for aggravated robbery. Guess what happened after he spoke to police
and gave his testimony? He walked out of prison after just more than
a year. Another person has come forward saying he
knows who killed the man that night because it was a friend of his who did it. He admitted it to him. This man did not come forward at the time
because he didn’t want to rat on one of his friends. The man whose name was put forward is currently
serving time for robbery and assault. Investigators now say that police weren’t
going after Spencer, but they just had a case of what’s called “tunnel vision.” They had a theory, and they looked only at
the evidence that fit that theory. Anything else was ignored. Spencer now sits in his cell, a man in 50s
wearing glasses, waiting and hoping. But he doesn’t have too much hope left. In an interview he said, “I’m just at a
point where, I’m still hopeful, but at the same time, it’s like I’m stuck in a system.” His story has been written about extensively
in the American media, but it seems this man really is stuck in the system. He has been denied parole on each occasion
he was up for it, and from what we can see still waits in his cell to this day, waiting
in vain for something to help get him out of the web of American justice. What do you think about this story? Tell us in the comments. Also, be sure to check out our other video
Why Was This Prisoner Kept Locked Away In Permanent Total Isolation? Thanks for watching, and as always, don’t
forget to like, share and subscribe. See you next time.

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100 thoughts on “Why Prisoner Proven Innocent Can’t Be Released

  1. That's one of many reasons why nobody wants to move to the USA (apart from, maybe, some poorest people in the world).

  2. The word of a woman has more value than actual proofs. This is the product of feminism and its toxic, non egalitarian goals.

  3. At this point if i was even convicted of something i know i didnt do im leaving the country no matter how much cops after me

  4. He’s Black the woman who lied on him is white she won’t change her story and it’s Texas. So much outrage in the comments but don’t act like you don’t know the true reason for this miscarriage of justice🤷🏾‍♂️🖕🏾

  5. Wait… when did America become a place where you are guilty until proven innocent. That's just wrong… he was innocent before, and innocent now…

  6. When he hopefully gets out he should get a BOATLOAD of money.. like you wasted my WHOLE life essentially at least let me live the rest of it In luxury. Like seriously is it possible to sue a court for a faulty trial?

  7. Trying to enjoy this but Too many things flipping and spinning and turning inside out. It's nauseating. Chill with the over the top animations please. It gave me a headache.

  8. I would go ballistic and possibly turn violent if this happened to me. I probably WOULD become a criminal if this happened to me.

  9. Welcome to America, where a Priest is doing a sermon in front of 1,000 people and is convicted of a crime that on the same day but three states away. What an awesome country I'm living in. Check in next week to see if I get accused of being a time traveling Hilter! 😂😂😂😒😒😒😒

  10. So the only person that could provide an allaby was a random girl? So he was cheating on his pregnant wife? Did he not use a credit card all night? He probably was guilty.

  11. The real problem is the American court system don't want to admit that they made a big mistake.
    To hide that mistake they where delaying his release so he may died in the prison.
    So that their records are clear, but it looks like they fail to hide the truth.

  12. The problem is they need to prove that he's guilty he is innocent until proven guilty and they haven't proven that he is guilty

  13. I think that if the man is proven innocent and they find the guilty guy. Then the guilty guy works in jail (for the same period of time that the innocent man was in jail) , earning money and it goes straight to the innocent man. (or the government reimburses the innocent man 1000%) for his troubles.

  14. Same thing happened in the Philippines. A son was accused of killing someone when in fact he was in the US when the killing happened, but still was jailed for more than 30 years.

    Edit: I can't remember his name but if someone knows this case could you provide the information, people need to know how much suffering this son had gone through. He could have a beautiful life ahead of him, if he wasn't jailed for no reason.

  15. The Governor of Texas has the power to pardon anyone in a Texas prison! Someone needs to make a petition to get th Ed governor's attention!

  16. The American justice system is misnamed. It has nothing to do with justice, it's just a tool politicians can use to advance their careers – and there's little career benefit to be found in releasing someone who's already been convicted. Careers benefit from a reputation for being 'tough on crime'.

    End political interference in the justice system. Get rid of elected judges, sheriffs, and prosecutors – a system where these positions are elected is tailor-made for corruption. Hold judges et al accountable for bad decisions made for worse reasons. Make the justice system into a system that serves the public, not the politicians.

  17. This is disgusting,what a horrible thing to go through,and he’s still in jail for it,nobody cared to help him,even tho there is no evidence that he did it,nothing!it’s just vile from anybody that’s fighting this,it’s so obvious it wasn’t him but they keep him in anyway

  18. so what i learned was,
    innocent people get sent to jail because the person who accused them want the money that is offered if you find the person who is guilty.


  19. If I was arrested when I didn’t do it I would cry so badly saying I didn’t do it and explain everything. I would yell i am innocent. I’m autistic to so I would throw the biggest, loudest tantrum without hurting everybody. They would probably send me to a mental hospital

  20. Sometimes a conviction is based on the sentiments of a crime. A person being killed that the upper crust can relate to is enough to get the first person walking
    near the scene in jail for life!!!!

  21. MeToo sweats profusely

    Also, if someone lies about something like this, they should get the same if not more the time that the wrongly convicted would've got or got.

  22. Guys on the 21st we're raiding the prison he's being kept at to free him specifically as a warm-up before going for the ICE Camps. The day after I reckon we should hit the Vatican but I'm also open to relieving Flavourtown from its siege by the non-seasoners.

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