Meet the Exonerees

Angelo Martinez

State: New York
Date of Birth:
Incident Date: 04/10/1985
Age at Arrest: 19
Conviction Date: 09/10/1986
Age When Exonerated: 36
Exonerated Date: Jul-02
Time Served: 17
Conviction: Murder
False Confession: No
Implicated by Another Youth: No

Case Details

Nineteen-year-old Angelo Martinez was wrongfully convicted of murder in 1986 and sentenced to twenty-five years to life in prison. A witness erroneously placed him at the scene of the crime, and another claimed that Martinez told him he was the murderer. In 1989, Charles Rivera, a federal prisoner in the witness protection program, confessed to the crime. Authorities did not believe him since he failed a lie detector test. Martinez’s lawyer learned about the confession, but did nothing about it and was later disbarred. After further investigation by an assistant district attorney, Martinez’s case was reopened, and his name was cleared. While in prison, Martinez was caught selling cocaine to other prisoners, so although he was exonerated of the murder, he had to return to prison to continue serving his drug sentence.