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Randall Dale Adams
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Scapegoat
    (December 17, 1948-October 30, 2010)
    Born in Ohio
    Convicted of murdering police officer Robert W. Woods (1977)
    Sentenced to death
    Sentence commuted to life imprisonment by the US Supreme Court (1981)
    Conviction overturned on grounds of prosecutor malfeasance and witness perjury (1989)
    Subject of the Errol Morris documentary 'The Thin Blue Line' (1988)
    After he was given a ride by 16-year-old David Ray Harris, the pair spent the day drinking beer, smoking pot and watching soft-core pornos.
    After his release, he sued Morris over the rights to his life story.
    Morris said, 'My wife summed it up very succinctly: Just because he's a victim, doesn't mean he isn't an asshole.'
    He was a former US Army paratrooper.
    Although evidence strongly indicated that Harris had shot Woods (Harris had boasted to friends about 'wasting a cop'; he led police to the murder weapon; Woods' partner had described the shooter wearing a coat with a furred collar similar to one Harris owned), the Dallas prosecutors went after Adams.
    Speculation is that they tried Adams because Harris was underage and thus could not be executed for the crime.
    The prosecutor withheld from the defense evidence that would cast doubt on the credibility of his witnesses and falsely claimed to not know the whereabouts of witnesses that the defense wanted to cross examine.
    He came within 72 hours of being executed for a crime he did not commit.
    Testifying before the Texas legislature, he said 'The fact that it took 12 and a half years and a movie to prove my innocence should scare the hell out of everyone in this room and, if it doesn’t, then that scares the hell out of me.'

Credit: C. Fishel


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