Meet the Exonerees

Kenneth Ireland

State: Connecticut
Date of Birth:
Incident Date: 09/02/1986
Age at Arrest: 18
Conviction Date: 1989
Age When Exonerated: 40
Exonerated Date: 08/19/2009
Time Served: 21
Conviction: Felony Murder, First-Degree Sexual Assault, Third-Degree Burglary
False Confession: No
Implicated by Another Youth: No


Case Details

Kenneth Ireland was wrongfully convicted of the 1986 rape and murder of thirty-year-old mother of four, Barbara Pelkey. Ireland was convicted on the basis of DNA evidence and the testimony of two individuals that alleged Ireland had incriminated himself in the crime. Later evidence revealed that the two witnesses might have implicated Ireland in exchange for a $20,000 reward. Additionally, the DNA evidence used to convict Ireland was inconclusive, since 20% of the population share the blood-type that both Ireland and perpetrator happened to have. In 2009, with the use of new DNA technology, the evidence from the case was reexamined, excluding Ireland as the perpetrator. Ireland was granted a new trial and exonerated as a result of the new DNA evidence.