Wrongly Convicted Database Record

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Johnny Lee Wilson

Years Imprisoned:



First Degree Murder


Life Imprisonment

Year Convicted:


Year Cleared:


Location of Trial:




Summary of Case:

Wrongly convicted in 1987 of first-degree murder based on his false confession. Johnny Lee Wilson pled guilty to first-degree murder to avoid the death penalty if convicted after a trial. He was instead sentenced to life in prison without parole. In 1988 another man confessed to the murder, providing details that only the actual murderer would know, and he said that Wilson had nothing to do with the crime. Wilson failed in getting his confession overturned, and he was imprisoned for seven years after the killer's confession, only released when pardoned by Missouri's governor in 1995.

Conviction Caused By:

False confession and false prosecution informant

Innocence Proved By:

Actual culprit discovered and confessed in 1987. Wilson was pardoned by Missouri's governor in 1995 after Wilson was unsucessful in getting his conviction overturned by the courts.

Defendant Aided By:

Compensation Awarded:

Was Perpetrator Found?

Age When Imprisoned:

Age When Released:

Information Source 1:

Johnny Lee Wilson, Cases of mentally disabled individuals be convicted on the basis of false confessions, BroadReach training and resources

Information Location 1:


Information Source 2:

The Problem of False Confessions in the Post-DNA World, By Steven A. Drizin & Richard A. Leo, 82 NCLRev 891-1007 (2004)

Information Location 2:

Information Source 3:

Actual Innocence - Exonerated Individuals whose cases involved prosecutorial misconduct

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Book About Case:

Book Information:

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Movie About Case:

Comments About Case:

Falsely confessed

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