Innocence, After Serving 11 Years On A Wrongful Conviction | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
Filed Under:

Innocence, After Serving 11 Years On A Wrongful Conviction

Play associated audio

Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.

In 1982, Dennis Fritz and Ron Williamson were convicted of a brutal rape and murder in a small town in Oklahoma. The victim was 21-year-old Debra Sue Carter, a waitress at the Coachlight Club. Williamson and Fritz each spent more than 11 years in prison for a crime that DNA evidence later proved they did not commit.

Before he went to prison, Fritz was raising his then-12-year-old daughter Elizabeth, alone. He decided she shouldn't visit him in prison, because he sensed she was scared. But, Fritz says, he knew his daughter loved him, and believed in his innocence.

Elizabeth was 24 when Fritz got out, and he remembers the moment they saw each other in the visiting room of the county jail, where he'd been transferred prior to his release.

"I was a little nervous, and I'm sure, well, she was too," Fritz tells Weekend Edition host Rachel Martin. "She was just a beautiful, radiant woman ... and my mother and my aunt were there, and we just held onto each other so tight, and we all cried a big pool of tears on the floor."

The same DNA evidence that turned over Fritz and Williamson's convictions incriminated another man, Glen Gore, who was later found guilty for the crimes.

Join Our Sunday Conversation

Do exonerations with DNA evidence make you distrust the criminal justice system, or trust it more?Tell us on Weekend Edition's Facebook page or in the comment section below.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

'Heaven Knows What' Adds New Wrinkles To The Street Junkie Narrative

The film slightly fictionalizes the experience of Arielle Holmes, a young homeless addict whom filmmakers Josh and Benny Safdie first encountered in Manhattan's Diamond District.
NPR

Trickster Journalist Explains Why He Duped The Media On Chocolate Study

John Bohannon, the man behind a stunt that bamboozled many news organizations into publishing junk science on dieting, talks to NPR's Robert Siegel about why he carried out the scheme.
WAMU 88.5

Poll: Maryland Voters Concerned About Time Spent On Standardized Tests

When it comes to education issues, Maryland voters are worried about too much standardized testing of kids more than anything else, according to a poll commissioned and released by the state's teachers union. The survey shows rare bipartisan agreement on education in Maryland.
NPR

As Police Body Cameras Increase, What About All That Video?

Police cams have suddenly become a big business. But the real money is in selling departments a way to store each day's video. Firms are offering easy uploads to the cloud but costs are bound to grow.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.