Thomas Gladish and three co-defendents were sentenced to death in 1974 in Albuquerque and exonerated in 1976
Thomas Gladish and three co-defendants (Richard Greer, Ronald Keine, and Clarence Smith) were sentenced to death for the kidnaping and murder of a college student in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The prosecution's key witness was a motel maid who claimed she saw the defendants, who were members of a Los Angeles motorcycle gang, commit the crime.
Sixteen months after the trial, a drug-addicted drifter walked into a South Carolina police station and confessed that he had committed the murder. He identified the murder weapon, which it turned out he had stolen from the father of his former girlfriend.
The eyewitness subsequently acknowledged that she fabricated her trial testimony under pressure from police and prosecutors. The four were exonerated and released. An investigation by the Detroit News was instrumental in the exonerations. The wrongfully convicted men and the victim all were Caucasian.