Angel Gonzalez Wrongful Conviction Case

Angel Gonzalez Wrongful Conviction Case

Angel Gonzalez Wrongful Conviction Case

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Angel Gonzalez Wrongful Conviction Case

Wrongful convictions have been evident in various cases where the accused suffers accusation and imprisonment to a greater extent of crime which they have not done. A good example regards the Angel Gonzalez wrongful conviction case in the year I995. Angel Gonzalez was freed from a charge on 10th March 2015 after serving an imprisonment of over twenty years for a misinformed rape case. It was in 1994 when Angel Gonzalez was misidentified as the one who committed a crime by a rape victim. It was disgusting that after the arrest the police misguided him to sign a false confession that he was involved in the misconduct (Baird, 2016). However, Angel Gonzalez retained his innocence even after the false conviction; it was until the year 2013 that he was capable of proving the innocence in a court hearing through a DNA test. In this paper, an overview of the Angel Gonzalez wrongful conviction case is illustrated to a profound extent as well as the process of post-conviction that ultimately resulted in exoneration and the accused life after exoneration.

To start with is a brief description of the Gonzalez’s case giving into details the crime and the particular events the led to the wrongful conviction. In 10th July 1994, a woman living in Waukegan Illinois apartment building was made off with by two strange men from her resident. The criminals rang the doorbell downstairs and did not get in creating the eagerness of the victim to go and check who it might be. On opening the door, the two criminals snatched the lady and involuntary made her get into their car after which they moved to a courtyard several away from where her apartment was located. The kidnappers raped her both, but they did exceed the extent of killing her. The victim was much taken aback by what happened, and after the men had left, she found a Seven-Eleven and where police officers were called for assistance.

Abundantly, the police officer obtained an original description of the attacker from the victim and immediately commenced carrying out the investigation. The woman described them as two Hispanic men of average weight, slightly taller than her and of middle age around twenty-five years. On the other hand, she gave a precise description of the car used in the scene as a shady colored, new model, four-door automobile with painted windows. The police took a keen note on every aspect she mentioned that could help get the suspects. Due to overreaction and willingness to show perfection on their work, the officers were only looking for a hint of who it might be, and they were eager to make sure that the evidence is available in the court of law (Cribb, 2012).

The Angel Gonzalez case started with the misidentification by the eyewitness who was the victim’s boyfriend. The first place for the police officers to find the evidence was in the apartment building where the victim used to live. They found the woman’s boyfriend to whom they gave an overall description of the car that the attackers used during the crime. From a distance, the victim’s boyfriend saw Angel Gonzalez’s moving out of the parking yard on the other side of the building. The car to some extent rhymed with the explanation given the police officers as it was sedan late model with tinted windows. The man told the police that the vehicle did not believe to a resident of that building. However, Gonzalez had come to visit his girlfriend who was the victim’s sister and lived in the same apartment. In that particular time, the police officer was not able to catch the suspects, but they got his license plate digits.

After that, on his way back from his girlfriend’s house Angel Gonzalez was stopped by the police who approached his car with a spotlight and gun ready. Gonzalez questioned why he had been stopped, and it is when that the officer told him that his car was in line with the description of the vehicle that was used during the delinquency act at night (Garrett, 2015). The man was put in custody and placed in the law enforcement agency car. Unfortunately, the Angel Gonzalez did not match the description regarding criminals as the officer was told. It ended to the extent that the victim has to come on the scene and identify whether Gonzalez was the one involved in the misconduct. On arrival, with the force carriage in a straight line behind and illuminating Gonzalez’s vehicle, the kidnapped woman indeed recognized the car. The police officer took Gonzalez out of the car and placed him in front of the police patrol car by which the victim was sitting in the back seat. The woman identified him as the attacker even without moving out of the carriage to carefully look at him whether he was actually among the attackers. After the victim positively identifying Gonzalez, he was immediately put into the patrol car and taken to the police post where he was held in custody (Gross, 2004).

After the arrest, Gonzalez was kept in custody over the night which was a traumatizing and disgusting thing considering that he was innocent and did not even have a clue of what had happened during the previous night. He was shocked and scared throughout the arrest as he was a Mexican who had only came to live in the United States after a while and could only speak English in rare instances which was not fluent. He was not informed of the cause of his imprisonment and that only rumors he heard were that he had been involved in a crime of hurting a woman. Detectives Artis Yancey and Lou Marquez gave the mandate to deal with the case. The human right is regarding Gonzalez’s case read in Spanish to enhance an explicit elaboration of his sentence.

After several interrogations, the conversation switched into Spanish. Gonzalez was requested to put down a statement in Spanish, by which on the other side the Detective Marquez typed an oral version of the same. It was later determined that the two statements not look alike. However, Gonzalez was forced to sign the statement that Detective Marquez had written. Despite having about four witnesses to support him in the case, Gonzalez was altered guilty regarding the act of signing the Detective’s statement and the victim identifying as one of the attackers as enough evidence (Medwed, 2017).

After that, after serving a sentence of around twenty years, Gonzalez obtained a post-conviction DNA test which proved him innocent. In 2001, he got a DNA test which identified the profile of one of the attackers in the rape kit, and it did not rhyme which Gonzalez’s genes. It was not enough evidence because the attackers involved in the rape case were two in number the court claiming that there was a possibility of Gonzalez being the one who has not been identified. It was until the year 2012 that the Innocence Project opened Gonzalez’s case and were focused on determining the DNA profiles of the other suspect. In 2013, the team successfully came up with the DNA profile of the two attackers, and they both left out Gonzalez.

It was recommendable that Gonzalez has been proven guilty, but he could not be set free as he was also accused of damaging property. On his conviction record, there was a bit that stated that he had at one time broken a sink under his confinement. Therefore, Gonzalez was given an addition of three more years of sentence on the justification of the destroyed sink. On the day on clearing the conviction, Gonzalez brought the case back claiming that he had been innocently jailed for more than twenty years and that there was no interpreter present during the denouncing of damaging property accusation (Brown, 2016). It was then in 2015 that the second accusation regarding property damaging was declared void and he was later set free from the court of law.

From the case study above, it is clear that Gonzalez was innocently convicted and many to serve an imprisonment and suffered the punishment that he did not deserve. It is upon the people to fight for their rights and the police department to adopt robust strategies that can be depended on in future. It is disgusting to heart how innocent suspect suffers and jurisdiction being overpowered by corruption among other unethical vices. It is not only a challenge to the government and the involved law bodies but also the urge of every citizen to ensure that justice is done to curb criminality.


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Crozier, W. E., Strange, D., & Loftus, E. F. (2017). Memory errors in alibi generation: how an alibi can turn against us. Behavioral sciences & the law, 35(1), 6-17.

Garrett, B. L. (2015). Convicting the Innocent Redux.

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Gross, S. R., Jacoby, K., Matheson, D. J., & Montgomery, N. (2004). Exonerations in the United States 1989 through 2003. J. Crim. l. & CrimiNology, 95, 523.

Lance, C. B., & Pope, N. D. (2015). Pruno, ramen, and a side of hope: Stories of surviving wrongful conviction. Simon and Schuster.

Medwed, D. S. (Ed.). (2017). Wrongful Convictions and the DNA Revolution. Cambridge University Press.

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