ACLU – Victory! An Innocent Man’s Journey from Death Row to Freedom

By Anna Arceneaux, Staff Attorney, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 11:19am

For the last five years, I have been representing an innocent man.

I first met Montez Spradley on Alabama’s death row in 2008. From that very first day, he vigorously maintained his innocence of the crime that landed him there: the 2004 murder of a 58-year old grandmother in Birmingham.

Last Friday, Montez accepted a plea deal that guarantees his freedom. It has been a long journey from a trial described as a “miscarriage of justice” to death row to a retrial to last week’s plea, but finally, in a matter of years, Montez will be able to leave the horror of the last several years behind him.

How does an innocent man end up on death row? The answer lies with a death penalty system broken beyond repair.