Wrongly Convicted Database Record


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Carl J. Bryan





Life Imprisonment

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Year Crime:

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Year Cleared:


U.S. State or Country of Crime:

U.S. Military - Federal Case

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Summary of Case:

"James J. Odell, Roy Q. Youngblood, George Van Gilder, Carl J. Bryan, and James B. Richardson were codefendants wrongly convicted by a military court-martial in Coblenz, Germany of murdering Captain Gilbert Lancefield of the British Army. Captain Lancefield was struck and killed by a thrown vase during a brawl in a cafe. The five codefendants were charged with murder. During their court martial their defense is none of the five men were in the cafe at the time of the brawl. After their convictions they were all sentenced to life in prison. They were transported from Germany to serve their sentences at the military prison in Leavenworth, Kanasa. Based on the recommendation of U.S. Secretary of War John W. Weeks, the five codefendants were pardoned by President Warren G. Harding in November 1921 on the basis of their actual innocence. They were released from the military prison in Leavenworth, Kansas on November 7, 1921. The full rights of citizenship were restored to the five men, they were re-enlisted in the army, honorably discharged, and awarded back pay from the time of their arrest in Germany. Odel was from Comanche, Oklahoma; Youngblood was from Omaha, Nebraska; Van Gilder was from Toledo, Ohio; Bryan was from McConnell, Tennessee; and Richardson was from Denton, Texas."

Conviction Caused By:

Innocence Proved By:

The five codefendants were pardoned by President Warren G. Harding in November 1921 on the basis of their actual innocence.

Defendant Aided By:

Compensation Awarded:

Was Perpetrator Identified?

Age When Imprisoned:

Age When Released:



Information Source 1:

"Pardon For 5 Ex-Soldiers, (Report from Leavenworth, Kansas), The New York Times, November 8, 1921, p. 1"

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Information Source 2:

"Five Yanks To Gain Pardons, Ogden Standard Examiner (Ogden, UT), November 4, 1921"

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

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