Wrongly Convicted Database Record

 

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George Ernest Thomps Edalji

 

Charge:

Animal Mutilation

Sentence:

7 years

Years Imprisoned:

3

Year Crime:

1903

Year Convicted:

1903

Year Cleared:

1907

U.S. State or Country of Crime:

United Kingdom

County or Region of Crime:

Staffordshire

City of Crime:

Result:

Pardoned

Summary of Case:

"George Edalji was wrongly convicted in October 1903 of wounding a pony, the eighth of a series of horse mutilations in the farming and mining county of Staffordshire in 1903. The mutilations were called the Great Wyrley Outrages. Although Edalji was a suspect in previous outrages he hadn’t left his house that had been under surveillance the entire night of the incident, and several witnesses testified at this trial they had been with him at his house the night of the incident. George Edalji was a meek, severely myopic, straitlaced English solicitor of half-Parsi extraction. Nevertheless, the jury convicted Edalji and he was sentenced to 7 years in prison. Edalji's conviction caused such outrage that ten thousand people signed a petition demanding that he be granted a retrial. English newspapers also championed Edalji's innocence. He became a cause celebrity, and after three years of imprisonment he was unexpectedly released in 1906 without pardon, apology, or explanation. In an effort to clear his name, Edalji contacted Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who was able to prove through his investigative efforts that Edalji couldn't be the culprit. Public reaction after an 18,000 word article by Doyle summarized his findings was published in English papers in 1907 forced the Home Secretary to appoint a three-man board to review the case. Edalji was granted a pardon when the Home Secretary accepted the main findings of a Committee of Enquiry, however the Committee didn’t recommend he be awarded any compensation for his three years of wrongful imprisonment. No one was ever charged with the other mutilations."

Conviction Caused By:

Innocence Proved By:

George Edalji was granted a pardon when the Home Secretary accepted the main findings of a Committee of Enquiry.

Defendant Aided By:

Compensation Awarded:

Was Perpetrator Identified?

Age When Imprisoned:

Age When Released:

Sex:

Skin/Ethnicity:

White

Information Source 1:

""The Sins of our forebears," James Morton (solicitor and former editor of the New Law Journal), 2001, from seminar given at the Inns of Court School of Law in October 2001."

Information Location 1:

http://www.freenetpages.co.uk/hp/peter.hill/nichol.htm

Information Source 2:

""Outrage - The Edalji Five and the Shadow of Sherlock Holmes," by Roger Oldfield, Vanguard Press, 2010"

Information Location 2:

http://www.outrage-rogeroldfield.co.uk/

Information Source 3:

"Arthur & George, by Julian Barnes, Knopf, 2005, 388 pages"

Information Location 3:

Information Source 4:

"The Case of George Edalji, by Bruce Heydt, British Heritage Magazine, "

Information Location 4:

Information Source 5:

Information Location 5:

Book About Case:

""Outrage - The Edalji Five and the Shadow of Sherlock Holmes," by Roger Oldfield, Vanguard Press, 2010"

Book Information:

http://www.outrage-rogeroldfield.co.uk/

Book About Case (2):

"A Miscarriage of Justice: The Case of George Edalji, by Rev. S. Edalji (1905)"

Book Information (2):

Movie About Case:

Comments About Case:

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

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