Ralph "Ron" Wright
Convicted: August 2014
Exonerated: May 11, 2017
DNA used in exoneration? No
Reasons for wrongful conviction:
Ron's Wrongful Conviction
Ralph “Ron” Wright Jr. was an Air Force Sergeant and Orange County Deputy Sheriff who spent three years wrongfully incarcerated. Ron was accused of the murder of a woman and her young son in 2007.
There was no forensic evidence, weapon, cell records, or any testimony incriminating Ron. The prosecution’s key piece of evidence was a black glove of the same kind issued to Ron's military unit; however, analysts were uncertain if it came from Ron's military base. DNA tests on the glove run by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement showed no definitive match for Ron, and independent analyses by labs hired by both the defense and prosecution excluded Ron. In August 2017, he was convicted solely on the basis of potential motive and opportunity; a jury voted 7-5 to recommend the death penalty. The Florida Supreme Court has since declared death sentences based upon non-unanimous jury recommendations to be unconstitutional.
In May 2017, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that all evidence was “purely circumstantial” and there was no evidence to prove Ron was the murderer. He was acquitted of the murder charges and became the 27th person to be exonerated from death row in Florida.
Ron's Work Today
Ron now lives in Florida, and along with many other Florida exonerees fights for death penalty abolition.
In The Media:
10.23.19 Sunrise Podcast