Meet the Exonerees

Hector Gonzalez

State: New York
Date of Birth: 28136
Incident Date: 12/02/1995
Age at Arrest: 18
Conviction Date: 10/21/1996
Age When Exonerated: 25
Exonerated Date: 04/24/2002
Time Served: 5.5
Conviction: Murder
False Confession: No
Implicated by Another Youth: No


Case Details

Hector Gonzalez was eighteen years old when he got tangled up in a situation that led to his arrest for murder. On December 2, 1995, he went to a nightclub populated by Latin Kings gang members in Brooklyn, NY to celebrate the birthday of a friend. A fight broke out, and Gonzalez ran away, but went back inside when he saw that his friends were injured in the fight. He went to tend to them, and some of their blood transferred to his pants. However, when the police arrested him due to a witness identifying Gonzalez as being at the scene, they believed that the blood on his pants was from a victim, Lemuel Cruz. A blood test came back, saying the blood matched that of the victim, but also the blood of over half of the population of New York. A judge ruled that this blood evidence was enough to convict Hector for the murder of Cruz, and on October 21, 1996, Gonzalez was sentenced to fifteen years to life in prison. He served five and a half years before he was released in 2002. With the help of new representation and new DNA testing, Gonzalez was proven innocent and he was exonerated on April 24, 2002.