Innocent Woman Jailed for 17 years
It is the duty of the police and prosecution to prove without a reasonable doubt that a defendant is guilty. Unfortunately for some very unlucky Americans, a disturbingly popular trend has become a major problem with the US legal system. For decades, People all over the nation have been arrested, convicted, and punished for crimes that they did not commit. There are few things more unjust than police or prosecutors breaking the law, in order to convict someone else of breaking the law. In one case, a 35 year old woman in California spent 17 years in prison for a crime that she did not commit.
In 1981 two men by the names of Stephen DeSantis and Gary Masse invaded the home of coin collector, Ed Davies and his wife, Grace. After binding the elderly couple and stealing six suitcases full of silver, the two men shot the couple and left them for dead. Ed was killed but Grace survived and was able to reach help. Thanks to her survival Grace was able to report what happened. DeSantis and Masse were later apprehended; however, there was still one further defendant to this crime
Gloria Killian, a 35 year old ex-law student, was arrested and eventually convicted on charges of Murder, robbery, and conspiracy. Gloria was brought up on charges because one of the killers, (Gary Masse) told police that she was the mastermind behind the dreadful crime committed by him and his cousin. Gloria was taken by police, questioned, and held without bail for near four months. During that time she repeatedly told the police that she did not kill anyone and that she had never met the killers. eventually Gloria was released due to a lack of evidence. Then, a year later, Gloria was again put behind bars without bail.
Eventually Gloria was convicted and sentenced to 35 years to life in prison. Gloria spent 17 years in prison for a crime to which there was not enough evidence to convict her. Gloria was extremely fortunate to befriend Joyce Ride. Convinced that Gloria was innocent, Joyce hired a top appeals attorney who was able to locate evidence that disproved the prosecution’s case against her. Without the help of this attorney, Gloria would likely have spent her entire life in prison.
Gloria’s attorney was able to attain letters between Masse and the prosecutors confirming that he had motive to lie about his claims against her. The prosecution illegally withheld this evidence in order to convict Ms. Killian. To make things worse, the other shooter Mr. DeSantis, told police that Gloria was not involved and that he had never met her. The prosecution’s entire depended upon a statement from a man whose motive to lie was covered up by the police. Unfortunately, by the time fortune found Gloria Killian in the form of Joyce Ride, and her attorney, everyone in Gloria’s family had died. Had Gloria been represented by an experienced lawyer like Mark Cogan from the beginning, she would not have spent 17 years in prison for a crime that she did not commit.
Americans grow up under the impression that the police are the “good guys” and that they are only there to help the innocent and punish the guilty; regrettably, most people are incorrect. In reality the police are usually more interested in making an arrest and the prosecution is more interested in getting a conviction then protecting the rights of Americans. Criminal law offices exist in order to stand up for people and make sure that their lives are not swallowed up by a system that is anything but just. If you are accused of a crime, make sure that you retain an experienced attorney like Mark Cogan so that you are protected from a fate like that of Gloria Killian’s.