Tunnel vision convicts and open-mindedness exonerates 39 years later…
Craig Coley has maintained his innocence for 39 years and is now a free man. Coley was 31 and a restaurant night manager in 1978 when he was arrested for the rape and murder of Rhonda Wicht and the murder of her son Donald.
After Coley’s case was reopened, new tests found that a key piece of evidence used to convict Coley did not carry any of his DNA. The Ventura County prosecutor Schwartz recognized the role tunnel vision played as the original detectives decided Coley was their man and failed to investigate other possible suspects.
Gov. Jerry Brown pardoned Coley on Wednesday, writing that the DNA evidence and a painstaking re-investigation of the case proved his innocence.
Read Coley’s story here