Wrongly Convicted Database Record


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Joseph Briggs



First Degree Murder



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Year Crime:


Year Convicted:


Year Cleared:


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Judicially Exonerated Released

Summary of Case:

"Joseph Briggs was wrongly convicted of murder and sentenced to death for a murder committed in Chicago, Illinois on September 12, 1904. His conviction was based on his erroneous identification by one person as the murderer of a shop keeper, and a store customer who said she saw him in the store the day before the murder. No physical evidence linked Briggs to the crime, and several people testified Briggs was with them in a saloon at the time of the murder. Briggs conviction was reversed by the IllinoisSupreme Court in December 1905 based on the trial judge's error of refusing to allow Briggs to present defense evidence impeaching the credibility of the prosecution witnesses. Briggs was acquitted after a retrial."

Conviction Caused By:

Erroneous eyewitness testimony

Innocence Proved By:

Conviction reversed by the IL Sup. Ct. and acquitted after a retrial.

Defendant Aided By:

Compensation Awarded:

Was Perpetrator Identified?

Age When Imprisoned:

Age When Released:




Information Source 1:

"“Miscarriages of Justice in Potentially Capital Cases,” Hugo Adam Bedau & Michael L. Radelet, Stanford Law Review, November, 1987, Vol. 40, p. 99+."

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Information Source 2:

"Briggs v. People, 219 Ill. 330 "

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Information Source 3:

NW School of Law Center on Wrongful Convictions

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Innocents Database Created and Maintained by Hans Sherrer innocents@forejustice.org

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