Does an Innocent Man Have the Right to Be Exonerated? December 6, 2014
In the 1980s, Larry Youngblood was wrongfully imprisoned for raping a 10-year-old boy. The way the Supreme Court handled his case had lasting consequences.
By Marc Bookman
In the early morning hours of June 16, 2004, a 31-year-old man named David Leon was killed by a train just west of
in . The Arizona
Daily Star ran a brief item on the accident but never mentioned Tucson Leon’s background; the press seemed unaware that
he had been in the middle of ’s
biggest legal scandal for the past two decades. Tucson
There was a good reason the media hadn’t recognized Leon’s name: Over the years, he’d been referred to vaguely as “the victim” or under the pseudonym “Paul”; the U.S. Supreme Court had called him “David L.” But concealing his identity hadn’t prevented the young man from suffering untold damage. Weeks after the train accident, the autopsy revealed that he had been drunk at the time of his death, a fact that surely surprised no one who knew him. And so the story ended almost exactly where it began: within a stone’s throw of Interstate 10.