A blog by Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Brian Tannebaum. Commenting on criminal law issues of local and national interest.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Another Innocent Guy Gets Released And Disturbs Our "Everyone's Guilty" Theory

CNN.com reports here that a man who spent 19 years in prison was released after it was discovered that he was framed.

The detective who put Barry Gibbs behind bars was arrested himself on charges that in his spare time, he was a mob hit man.

A judge threw out the 1988 murder conviction and released Barry Gibbs based on new evidence that the same detective coerced a witness into identifying him as the killer.

The now arrested detective located a witness who testified he had seen Gibbs dump the body of the strangled victim near a bridge.

He hadn't. It was a lie. But Gibbs was convicted.

Under questioning by the FBI, the witness recanted, claiming the detective bribed and intimidated him into identifying Gibbs.

The Brooklyn district attorney's office sought Gibbs' release after it determined the witness' trial testimony was "suspect," which is a nice legal word to use when you're about to be sued that is interpreted to mean "lied."

A jury convicted this man.

He was innocent.

But who cares? Everybody's guilty, everybody.


  1. So what is your solution? Who could have guessed that happened? Is it unfair, absolutely. Is it wrong, absolutely. Could I imagine living a life like that for 19 years, never. But what is your solution???

  2. Counselor lets look at the opposite side of that coin. What are the percentages? Guilty men and women walking the streets because of excellent defense attorneys vs. innocent men and women incarcerated for crimes they did not commit. Have you ever tried a murder case and won but in your heart or your gut, you knew this person was guilty. Or he/she confessed to the crime, but under lawyer client privileges you could do nothing. What happens? You’re not paid to have a conscience.

    You never get to hear about the one that was guilty as sin but got away. When I need a defense attorney I want one like Allen Shore (Boston Legal). I want one like Brian T. Jails are full of innocent men but does that mean every defense lawyer failed in their job, if I’m the client you bet it does. I know you win some you lose some, at the end of the day jurors convict or acquit. Let’s just hope they can afford some one like you.

  3. Anonymous8:06 AM

     I recomend you do your homework before blindly accepting the media version. Read the trial transcript -why did this "innocent man" refuse DNA testing at the time of his trial? What about his history of drug use and domestic violence? He was with the victim the day she died AND the patten of brusing matched the beatings he gave his wife and girl friends. Yes, many innocent people are wrongfully committed but this isn't one of them.

  4. Anonymous2:45 PM

    Gibbs did the crime. The cops just went too far in getting him. The feds tried to get a jailhouse confession tossed out but couldn't get witness to change his story. Gibbs was not shown to be innocent. This was justice undone.