This list includes individuals who were sentenced to death and had their sentences overturned by acquittal or pardon. The state listed is the state where the individual was convicted, the year listed is the year of release, and the case listed is the case that overturned their conviction.
This list does not include
posthumous pardons for individuals executed before 1950;
inmates who were given life sentences when their country, province or state abolished the death penalty;
people who were threatened with death and never jailed;
people who were jailed by extralegal groups or courts, for example as often occurs in cases of sentences of stoning.
Despite abolition in the UK, the separate legal systems meant death sentences still passed in Northern Ireland, Isle of Man and Channel Islands but with no likelihood of them being carried out. One Provisional Irish Republican Army member sentenced to death for murder before this anomaly was abolished. European Union protocols signed in 1999 on human rights mean no death penalty statute can exist in an EU country.
39. James Richardson (James Richardson's was granted a new trial because the court clerk lost some of the trial transcript. He was later given a new trial, reconvicted, and executed in 2000.
On April 8, 2010, former death row inmate Timothy B. Hennis, once exonerated in 1989, was reconvicted of a triple murder, thereby dropping him from the list of those exonerated. Sentenced to death by military court-martial 15 April 2010.
40. Clarence Brandley, Texas (Ex Parte Brandley, 781 S.W.2d 886 (Tex. Crim App. 1989). Convicted 1981.
41. John C. Skelton
42. Dale Johnston
43. Jimmy Lee Mathers
44. Gary Nelson
45. Bradley P. Scott
46. Charles Smith
47. Jay C. Smith, Pennsylvania. Convicted 1986.
48. Kirk Bloodsworth, Maryland. Convicted 1984. Exonerated 1993; first prisoner to be exonerated by DNA evidence. Serving life in prison when exonerated, as earlier death sentence was overturned.
56. Robert Charles Cruz. (Cruz disappeared in 1997. His remains were found in 2007.)
57. Rolando Cruz
58. Alejandro Hernández
59. Sabrina Butler
60. Joseph Burrows. Joseph Burrows was released from death row after his attorney Kathleen Zellner persuaded the real killer to confess at the post-conviction hearing, and Peter Rooney, a reporter for the Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette, obtained a recantation from a key witness. The Burrows case was the subject of a book by Rooney titled Die Free: A True Story of Murder, Betrayal and Miscarried Justice.
It is later revealed, through additional research by Prof. Samuel Gross of the University of Michigan, that though James Bo Cochran was acquitted of murder, he did plead guilty to a robbery charge in an agreement made with prosecutors prior to his release. Therefore, Cochran is no longer on the list of those exonerated from death row.
78. Ronald Williamson, Oklahoma. Convicted 1988. Along with Gregory R. Wilhoit, Williamson later became the inspiration for and subject of John Grisham's 2006 non-fiction book The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town.
79. Ronald Jones
80. Clarence Dexter, Jr.
81. Warren Douglas Manning
82. Alfred Rivera
83. Steve Manning
84. Eric Clemmons
85. Joseph Nahume Green
86. Earl Washington, Virginia (pardoned). Convicted 1994 (1984, without life sentence).
134. Michael Toney, Texas. Convicted 1999. (Toney later died in a car accident on October 3, 2009, just one month and a day after his exoneration.)
135. Yancy Douglas, Oklahoma. Convicted 1997.
136. Paris Powell, Oklahoma. Convicted 1997.
137. Robert Springsteen, Texas. Convicted 2001.
138. Joe D'Ambrosio, Ohio. Convicted 1989. (While he was freed in 2010, but not yet exonerated, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal by the state of Ohio challenging the unconditional writ of habeas corpus and bar to D'Ambrosio's re-prosecution on January 23, 2012, nearly 2 years later, making D'Ambrosio the 140th death row exoneree since 1973.)
Previous Canadian government policy was that in all but exceptional cases, Canada will not extradite accused murderers unless the death sentence will not be imposed, or if imposed, not carried out. This diplomatic commutation arrangement stems from the 2001 case of United States v. Burns. In 2008, the incumbent government announced that it would no longer participate in clemency dealings. The decision was met with criticism from human rights activists and Canadian citizens.