Meet the Exonerees

Michael Pardue

State: Alabama
Date of Birth: 1956
Incident Date: 05/22/1973
Age at Arrest: 17
Conviction Date: 1973
Age When Exonerated: 48
Exonerated Date: 1997
Time Served: 31
Conviction: Double murder
False Confession: Yes
Implicated by Another Youth: No

Case Details

At the age of seventeen, Michael Pardue was arrested for vehicle theft. While purportedly questioning him about the vehicles, the police began questioning him about the double murder of Ronald Rider and Harvey Hodges at a gas station earlier that night. Over the next six days, as many as ten investigators and prosecutors interrogated Pardue. During this time, he was also beaten and denied food, sleep, and access to counsel. Eventually, he confessed to the double murder, and the prosecution secured a conviction by bolstering its case with snitch testimony. After extensive reinvestigation, all charges against Pardue were dropped in 1997 -- twenty-four years after his arrest. Incredibly, however, he remained behind bars because of an escape conviction. It was not until 2004 that Michael finally walked out of prison.