Darrel Parker, now 80 years old, was pardoned years ago because a federal court ruled that his confession of his wife’s murder was “coerced and involuntary.” He was released from prison. Now, however, Parker is seeking a full exoneration. He is also seeking compensation awarded to exonerated prisoners.
When prisoners are pardoned, the charges against them are lifted and they can be released from prison. However, the incarceration, whether wrongful or not, remains on their record. When a prisoner is exonerated, however, the crime is wiped from their record completely.
Parker claims that a confession in 1988 from an inmate on death row, named Wesley Peery, proves that Parker is innocent of murdering Nancy Parker, his wife. Peery died on death row for a crime similar to that of the rape and murder of Nancy Parker, and Peery’s attorneys later released a detailed confession from Peery. In addition, a car similar to Peery’s was found near the scene of the crime, and Parker alleges that the police withheld evidence from his attorneys that could have cleared him of the crime.
Dan Friedman, Parker’s lawyer, said Nebraska’s 2009 law on compensation for those wrongfully convicted of crimes provided a “pathway” for wrongfully convicted prisoners to challenge the reasons for their conviction.
One of the state’s attorneys, James D. Smith, said Peery’s confession was “total hearsay,” because it was not revealed until after the criminal’s death, and could therefore not be investigated. Smith also stated that the only way to prove Parker’s innocence was with another trial.
Friedman believes that another trial is not necessary, as the state has “conceded the central issue of the case.”
Exonerations and pardons are difficult legal matters, but the attorneys at the Strom Law Firm can help. While South Carolina does not offer compensation to exonerated prisoners, the Strom Law Firm can help you clear your record and resume your life. If you or a loved one have been wrongfully imprisoned, do not hesitate to contact us. We offer free consultations. 803.252.4800.