Jerry Bigelow was sentenced to death in 1981 and was exonerated in 1988
Jerry Bigelow was sentenced to death for a murder, robbery, and kidnaping in Merced County, California. He and a companion were hitchhiking when the victim gave them a ride. In exchange for immunity from the death penalty, the companion testified that Bigelow shot the victim.
After the companion accused Bigelow of the murder, the police persuaded him to confess by promising him leniency — a promise that would not be kept. Bigelow eventually was exonerated by several witnesses who testified that the companion had admitted committing the crime while Bigelow was sleeping and without Bigelow's knowledge.
Bigelow is Caucasian as was the victim.