Posts Tagged ‘Exoneration’

In 2004, Brandon Olebar, 21, was convicted of participating in a violent home invasion robbery in Seattle, Washington. He was sentenced to more than 15 years in prison and served over 10 years before his case was dismissed.  The crime was brutal, but didn’t garner headlines. The victim had a hostile breakup with his girlfriend, Olebar’s sister, Nacoel. She enlisted her friends and family to get revenge. The group went to the victim’s home, broke in, and beat the man severely.  The police quickly zeroed in on Nacoel Olebar. Identifying her alleged accomplices proved difficult. The victim was shown photo arrays — a montage of 6 photos, 1 the suspect and 5 “fillers”. He identified several people, including Brandon Olebar. Without the victim identification, there was no other evidence against Olebar.

He didn’t have the cleanest past; he had just gotten out of prison for a drug offense and a car theft. He was on parole and lived with his grandparents.

The Innocence Project accepted Olebar’s case and approached the King County Prosecution’s Office in 2013. Mark Larson, didn’t work on the original case, but was Chief Criminal Deputy at the time and he was instantly skeptical of all innocence claims.  This case had no DNA evidence and there was nothing definitive, so “how could we justify undoing a verdict…where the jury…heard the evidence, found…the defendant guilty – beyond a reasonable doubt?”  Larson told the project that he would look into the case anyway. (more…)


Our society has fallen to such bullying lows that even exonerated people with actual tangible proof of innocence get treated like they are guilty.  It’s one level to just not believe someone who says they are innocent, but a whole other level to actually refuse to treat people appropriately who are exonerated.  People need to get their heads on straight.  This compassionless social movement we are in because of social media and its narcissistic momentum and the media and its tabloid journalism is only going to lead us to bigger trouble.  Every one deserves to be treated with some level of dignity.  As a society how can we tell people they are wrong if we do the same things?  That’s not a role model that’s a hypocrite, which creates resentment not compliance.

It’s a well-known fact that the justice system isn’t perfect. Every year, people who are completely innocent are convicted.

It is estimated that our wrongful conviction rate is 6%.  (more…)