Wrongly Convicted Database Record

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Neil Ferber


Years Imprisoned:

4

Charge:

First Degree Murder

Sentence:

Death

Year Convicted:

1982

Year Cleared:

1986

Location of Trial:

Pennsylvania

Result:

Judicially Exonerated Released

Summary of Case:

"Neil Ferber was wrongly convicted in April 1982 of the 1981 murder in Philadelphia of organized crime figure Chelsais 'Steve' Bouras. After Philadelphia newspaper columnist John Guinther wrote four columns outlining flaws in Ferber's conviction and the evidence supporting his innocence, the prosecution dropped the charges in 1986 based on "new" evidence that showed Ferber's conviction was based on the perjured testimony of a jail-house informant. "The judge characterized the police handling of Ferber's case as a 'Kafkaesque nightmare,' and said that Ferber's 1982 criminal trial was a 'malevolent charade.'" (Philadelphia Inquirer editorial, August 16, 1996.) Neil Ferber was awarded $1.9 million in compensation for four years on death row."

Conviction Caused By:

Perjured testimony of the prosecutions star witness - a jailhouse informant.

Innocence Proved By:

Charges dropped after the prosecution conceded the prosecution's primary witness wasn't truthful.

Defendant Aided By:

Compensation Awarded:

$1.9 mil

Was Perpetrator Found?

Age When Imprisoned:

36

Age When Released:

40

Information Source 1:

“Miscarriages of Justice in Potentially Capital Cases,” Hugo Adam Bedau & Michael L. Radelet, Stanford Law Review, November, 1987, Vol. 40, p. 113.

Information Location 1:

Information Source 2:

Death Penalty Information Center

Information Location 2:

http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/Innocentlist.html

Information Source 3:

Neil Ferber Was Sentenced To Death For The Murder of a Couple in Philadelphia in 1982 and Exonerated in 1986, Center on Wrongful Convictions

Information Location 3:

http://www.law.northwestern.edu/depts/clinic/wrongful/exonerations/PA_Ferber.htm

Information Source 4:

D.A. Reviewing Conviction In Bouras Killing, By Fredric N. Tulsky (Staff Writer), The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 20, 1983

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Innocents Database Created and Maintained by Hans Sherrer innocents@forejustice.org