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See These Emotional Photos of Johnny Tall Bear’s First Day of Freedom in 26 Years!

By Innocence Staff

Johnny Tallbear was exonerated on June 11, 2018 in Oklahoma City for a crime that DNA proves he did not commit. Photo by Nick Oxford.

On June 11, 2018, with the consent of the Oklahoma County District Attorney, District Court Judge Glenn M. Jones vacated the 1992 murder conviction and dismissed the charges against Johnny Edward Tall Bear based on new DNA evidence proving his innocence. Tall Bear served 26 years for murder based on the erroneous statements of an alleged eyewitness who claimed to have seen Tall Bear fighting with the victim but later expressed doubts about his identification.

See his first day of freedom below.

Johnny Tall Bear reunites with his mother, Johnnie May, in court. Photo by Dara Gell.

Tall Bear speaks to reporters after his exoneration. Photo by Nick Oxford.

Tall Bear walks out of court with his attorney, Karen Thompson, who is a senior staff attorney at the Innocence Project. Photo by Nick Oxford.

Tall Bear with his Innocence Project legal team (L-R): paralegal Corey Michon, senior staff attorney Karen Thompson, Cardozo law clinic student Natalia Mata and investigations attorney Dara Gell. Photo by Nick Oxford.

Tall Bear and Johnnie May. Photo by Nick Oxford.

Tall Bear eats his first dinner as a free man: chicken fried steak. Photo by Dara Gell.

Tall Bear introduces himself to Innocence Project staff via Skype. Photo by Nick Oxford.

Tall Bear enjoys his freedom. Photo by Nick Oxford.

Read the full press release here.

Help Tall Bear with his transition to freedom: support his Amazon wishlist.

Take action: Help prevent wrongful convictions in Oklahoma and around the U.S.

1 Comment

  1. Elizabeth de Vries

    This treatment of already grossly devalued human beings is absolutely unacceptable. While I’m beyond joyful for his freedom now, I feel fury that he lost 26 years of his life due to a broken legal system. An unethical legal system. I KNOW it is unethical because I’ve had to deal with it after my parents died, after discrimination and retaliation at work, and after a guy ripped me off about restoring a piano. This system attacks the victims and supports the perpetrators and manipulators and is NOT blind. It is prejudiced against certain heritages and sex’s as well as sexual orientation. It’s an extension of the corruption at the highest level in this country and we HAVE to stop it. The lawyers and judges who stole this man’s life MUST be found and if still alive, held accountable for either sloppy work, lazy work and/or discrimination and give him a massive monetary settlement PERIOD. We, the people, will help him of course. We The People will help each other more and more as this government and legal system turns against us. That’s actually not good for the government and legal system at some point cause we out number them by hundreds of millions of people and we’re getting angrier by the day. They’d best take note of it and start cleaning up their act! In the mean time, find the lawyers, detectives, cops and judges involved in this bogus conviction and MAKE THEM PAY OUT OF THEIR POCKETS. I bet, if they are forced to do this, they will start finding that being thorough, diligent, ethical, and moral the better way to go than the loss of millions in damages to the person’s whose lives they destroy.

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