Meet the Exonerees

Arthur Carmona

State: California
Date of Birth:
Incident Date: 02/12/1998
Age at Arrest: 16
Conviction Date: 1998
Age When Exonerated: 18
Exonerated Date: 08/21/2000
Time Served: 2.5
Conviction: Armed robbery
False Confession: No
Implicated by Another Youth: No

Case Details

In 1998, sixteen-year-old Arthur Paul Carmona was wrongfully convicted of two armed robberies and sentenced to twelve years in prison. Police arrested him on the street at gunpoint and forced a Lakers baseball cap on his head. This cap was what the robber was wearing at the time, and witnesses were only able to identify him with the cap. Police lied to Carmona during his interviews, claiming they had videotape proof of the crimes. The getaway driver for the robberies initially said that he did not know Carmona, but implicated him once the District Attorney offered him a plea bargain to say Carmona was the culprit. While in prison, many people, including his mother, newspaper columnist Dana Parsons, and civil rights attorney Nadia Davis, became interested in his story and raised questions of his guilt. The getaway driver also recanted his story, saying that Carmona was not involved. In 2000, before a hearing which could grant him another trial, the District Attorney offered him a deal where he would be released if he promised not to sue the city or any state and city prosecutors. He accepted and was released, although he never received an apology, compensation, and the crimes were still on his record. After his release, Carmona fought to prevent wrongful convictions and advocated legislation which would prevent his situation from occurring again. He died on February 17, 2008 after he was struck by a vehicle at a party.