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J.L. Ivey, Jr.

On March 1, 1976, there was a holdup at a gas station in Buffalo, New York, during which an attendant was shot and killed. Despite having multiple witnesses to support his alibi, 32-year-old J.L. Ivey Jr. was convicted of this robbery and murder and sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. However, due to repeated acts of improper and prejudicial conduct by the prosecutor during the trial, Ivey was granted a new trial in 1981.

At Ivey’s retrial, his counsel introduced the testimony of a new witness, Sandra Knight. Knight testified that her ex-boyfriend, Donald Brailsford, had actually committed the murder, and she provided substantial detail to support her claim that Brailsford was the true perpetrator. Ivey was acquitted at his second trial on May 20, 1982.

Ivey then successfully sued the State of New York for compensation for his wrongful conviction under the Unjust Conviction and Imprisonment Act, receiving $630,000.

- Meghan Barrett Cousino

Most Serious Crime:Murder
Reported Crime Date:1976
Sentence:25 years to life
Race/Ethnicity:Don't Know
Age at the date of crime:32
Contributing Factors:Mistaken Witness ID, Official Misconduct