Meet the Exonerees

Larry Osborne

State: Kentucky
Date of Birth:
Incident Date: 12/13/1997
Age at Arrest: 17
Conviction Date: 1998
Age When Exonerated: 22
Exonerated Date: 08/01/2002
Time Served: 4
Conviction: Murder
False Confession: No
Implicated by Another Youth: Yes

Case Details

Seventeen-year-old Larry Osborne was wrongfully convicted of murder and sentenced to death for burning down the house of and killing an elderly couple. Osborne was driving by the couple’s home when he heard glass breaking. He told his mother, who reported it to the police. Osborne and fifteen-year-old Joe Reid became suspects of the murder. Reid was questioned three times, each time telling the same story of innocence. The third time, however, the police told Reid all the details of the crime, gave him a lie detector test and was told he failed. There was then a forty minute break in the tape and when the tape resumed, Reid claimed that Osborne committed the murders and asked, “do I get out of trouble?” Reid accidentally drowned before the trial and his statement was allowed into court, even though he could not be cross-examined. Osborne was convicted although there was no physical evidence against him. In a retrial, Reid’s statement was not allowed and with the weakened prosecution, Osborne was found innocent.