Man Wrongfully Imprisoned For 21 Years, Dies Less Than A Year After His Release


Sharrif Wilson, who had spent over half his life behind bars for three murders he did not commit, died on Saturday, only 11 months after being exonerated. The Huffington Post has more on him:

The 38-year-old Harlem resident was pronounced dead at Manhattan’s Mount Sinai hospital at 10:59 p.m. Saturday, the New York Daily News reported. Wilson, who had been hospitalized since the end of December, suffered from acute respiratory distress syndrome.

His lawyer, Adam Perlmutter, told The Huffington Post that Wilson’s death is a “terrible tragedy,” and that Wilson’s health problems were due in part to the nearly 22 years he spent wrongfully imprisoned.

“He was a healthy 15-year-old boy when he went into prison, and he emerged obese and unhealthy,” Perlmutter said.

Wilson and a friend, Antonio Yarbough, were convicted in the 1992 murders of Yarbough’s mother, sister and cousin in a Coney Island housing project. Both Yarbough’s sister and his cousin were 12 years old.

Wilson, then 15 years old, confessed to the murders and implicated Yarbough in exchange for a lighter sentence. But in 2005, Wilson wrote a letter recanting his confession, saying that police had coerced him into it. He also apologized to Yarbough for implicating him in the killings.