Meet the Exonerees

Erick Daniels

State: North Carolina
Date of Birth:
Incident Date: 09/21/2000
Age at Arrest: 14
Conviction Date: 2001
Age When Exonerated: 22
Exonerated Date: 09/19/2008
Time Served: 7
Conviction: Armed robbery
False Confession: No
Implicated by Another Youth: No

Case Details

In 2001, fifteen-year-old Erick Daniels was wrongfully convicted of robbing over $6000 at gunpoint from Ruth Brown, an employee of the Durham Police Department. He was sentenced to ten to fourteen years in prison. The gunmen were masked when they entered Brown’s home and took the money. Brown said that one of the men was short, had light skin, and cornrows in his hair. She identified Daniels from a yearbook photo, comparing him to over 150 other teenagers, even though he had dark skin and hair too short for cornrows. The prosecutor’s case rested on Brown’s identification and other police officers’ testimonies without presenting any physical evidence. During his time in prison, the Indy published an investigative report on Daniels’ case, pointing to a shoddy police investigation. After several unsuccessful appeals, Daniels was exonerated in 2008. His lawyer proved that, along with the way the police investigation was run, Daniels had received ineffective counsel, particularly because his previous lawyer had represented the true perpetrator of the robbery but did not bring this fact to light.