Why Prisoner Proven Innocent Can’t Be Released

By | October 22, 2019

Picture this, you are 22 years old, in the
prime of your life, with a pregnant and devoted wife you haven’t been married to for very
long. And then everything changes one night when
a man is murdered in the street. You are accused of the murder, with the evidence
being that it was your face a witness saw running from the scene of the crime. That evidence is weak to say the least, and
seeing as you know very well you didn’t do it, you are confident you’ll get off. But that’s not the case, and you will spend
many years behind bars. A trial judge will say you are likely innocent
some twenty years after the crime was committed, and you still won’t get out. How could this happen? Let’s start from the beginning. The man we are talking about is named Benjamine
Spencer, and he was convicted along with another man of committing a murder on a quiet street
in West Dallas over 30 years ago. On March 22, in the year of 1987, a 33-year-old
named Jeffrey Young who was doing well for himself at a clothing company was attacked
after walking out of his company office around 9.30 pm. The police report says he was then manhandled
into his BMW by two men and drove over to West Dallas, and it’s there his body was
dumped down a dark alley. Police thought they had gotten lucky when
witnesses came forward and said they saw what happened. There were three of those witnesses, and they
identified two men. One was Spencer and the other was named Robert
Mitchell. But as the district attorney of Dallas now
says, something might have been amiss because the witnesses all knew Spencer. These people were not strangers. Spencer was by no means an angel. He’d spent some time behind bars before
for driving on a suspended license and had also been put on probation for six years for
driving a car that had been stolen by a friend. Nonetheless, as we said, his new wife was
pregnant and he was turning over a new leaf. After he was picked up four days after the
crime he wasn’t very worried. It was just a mistake, a case of mistaken
identity. But that wasn’t the case at all. Spencer had an alibi, too, which was the testimony
of a young woman friend of his who said she had been hanging out with him when the murder
and robbery took place. On top of that, there was no physical evidence
linking Spencer to the crime, just those witness testimonies. During the robbery a watch had been stolen,
as well as a wedding ring, a small portable TV, and a briefcase. None of these things were found at Spencer’s
house. Police didn’t have any fingerprint evidence
nor was there a murder weapon found. Many years later Spencer would say in an interview,
“I began to think, ‘Well, I didn’t commit this offence, the truth is going to come out.” But a few months down the line Spencer was
sentenced to 35 years in prison, with the evidence being the witness’ testimony as
well as a jailhouse informant’s testimony. It was a nightmare come true, Spencer’s
heart sank, his life was ruined. The father-to-be had become a condemned man,
and the state had failed to do its job in his eyes. But not long into his sentence Spencer got
a break. It turned out that the star witness in his
case had lied. She had not told the truth about whether she
had received a reward for coming forward and giving evidence. A new trial was set, but Spencer was then
offered a plea deal by the state. He could probably get out in five years if
he accepted this. But wasn’t this 5 years too much? And why would an innocent man taint his name
by admitting he killed someone when he hadn’t? In his mind he had been wronged, and accepting
a plea deal was just another wrong in the topsy-turvy world of American justice. Nonetheless, his attorney told him to take
it. Years alter Spencer would tell NPR, “He
was saying, ‘If you take it to trial, they’re going to try to give you a life sentence,
and they’re likely to get it. And I’m like, ‘I’m not going to plead guilty
to something I didn’t do.” Who in their right mind would? And so, he didn’t accept the deal. During the second trial the state prosecuted
Spencer for aggravated robbery and asked for a life sentence. The evidence again was a witness testimony,
with the star witness being a 42-year old woman who lived close to the alley where the
victim was dumped. It was her testimony that got Spencer convicted
again, and as you’ll find out soon, her testimony was hardly concrete. But she stood her ground, and according to
reports, was very convincing when she described what she had seen on the night of the crime. This was Spencer and Mitchell dumping the
body. Mitchell was also convicted again, and unfortunately
he would not live much longer anyway. So, now Spencer is back in prison again, looking
down a long road of 30-something years living life behind bars as an innocent man. His life now would be dedicated to proving
his innocence, and this would be a long process. Spencer got in touch with organizations that
helped wrongly convicted men who were serving time. One such organization was named Centurion
Ministries, and the people there knew that the state has sent down an innocent man. They built a case, interviewed over a hundred
people, and then asked for a hearing. This petition ended up on the desk of a criminal
court judge in Dallas named Rick Magnis. He said he wasn’t sure at first whether
to have a hearing, mostly because the exoneration wasn’t based on any kind of new DNA evidence. This is often what gets innocent people freed. But he later said in interviews that the more
he read about the case he realized there had been a lot of wrongs in Spencer’s conviction. Twenty years after the crime Magnis granted
an evidentiary hearing. The witnesses came forward again, and this
time two of them backed down. But that woman who lived across from the alley
didn’t, she stood firm again. She said she had definitely seen Spencer. As we said, there was a big problem with her
testimony. That’s because all those years later a forensic
visual scientist was asked to watch a reenactment of the body being dumped. What that was, was people in the dark pretending
to be the pair that dumped the body. After this, there was no doubt that this woman
could have seen anything other than a silhouette. No way could she have clearly seen a face
as she said she had done. That forensic scientist said with the conditions
as they were, a person could not have made out a face any farther than 25 feet away. But as it stood, the witness claiming to have
seen the men who was standing closest to the crime scene was 93 feet away. Again, just no way could have any of those
witnesses got a clear ID. With this new evidence Judge Magnis said ok
enough is enough, and he ordered a retrial on the grounds of something called “actual
innocence.” As for Spencer, he said he was over the moon
when he heard the news. Not only would he get out, but he would clear
his name, too. In an interview he said, “I was very hopeful. I thought that this is it. I’m going home.” That didn’t happen, though. Spencer said at first he was hopeful that
this retrial would take place within a few weeks. They passed, so then he thought maybe a few
months, and they passed. In fact, years passed and the only authority
capable of granting a new trial, the Court of Criminal Appeals, it seems did nothing
at all. Then in 2011. Spence got some bad news. There would be no retrial. While a judge said that indeed if the new
evidence had been presented at the first trial it would have been unlikely that Spencer would
have been convicted. But that same judge said because Spencer hadn’t
come up with any incontrovertible new evidence proving he wasn’t there that night, such
as CCTV footage or DNA that had never been tested, there would be no trial. The judge admitted that Spencer was likely
innocent, but it didn’t matter, he didn’t have the evidence to get that new trial. His attorney now says she needs to start again;
she needs to find this new evidence proving her client’s innocence. The problem of course is how do you find new
evidence 28 years after the fact. The woman across from the alley now won’t
talk openly about the case. Another witness died and another now says
he didn’t get a clear look at Spencer. This witness now says he felt pressured by
the police to say it was Spencer. So, that’s it. The only thing saying Spencer is guilty is
the testimony of a witness who its been proved couldn’t have possibly seen Spencer that
night. Everyone seems to know the case stinks, but
the fact is the justice system doesn’t seem to provide any solutions to get Spencer out. But there is more. There was another witness, but this witness
was never called. She now says that she is “1000 percent sure”
that the people she saw didn’t include Spencer. What about that jailhouse informant? Well, he now says that Spencer never told
him he had committed that crime. Records also show something very fishy. The informant said in court that he had not
received any benefit from giving that statement. But this guy was looking at a 25 year sentence
for aggravated robbery. Guess what happened after he spoke to police
and gave his testimony? He walked out of prison after just more than
a year. Another person has come forward saying he
knows who killed the man that night because it was a friend of his who did it. He admitted it to him. This man did not come forward at the time
because he didn’t want to rat on one of his friends. The man whose name was put forward is currently
serving time for robbery and assault. Investigators now say that police weren’t
going after Spencer, but they just had a case of what’s called “tunnel vision.” They had a theory, and they looked only at
the evidence that fit that theory. Anything else was ignored. Spencer now sits in his cell, a man in 50s
wearing glasses, waiting and hoping. But he doesn’t have too much hope left. In an interview he said, “I’m just at a
point where, I’m still hopeful, but at the same time, it’s like I’m stuck in a system.” His story has been written about extensively
in the American media, but it seems this man really is stuck in the system. He has been denied parole on each occasion
he was up for it, and from what we can see still waits in his cell to this day, waiting
in vain for something to help get him out of the web of American justice. What do you think about this story? Tell us in the comments. Also, be sure to check out our other video
Why Was This Prisoner Kept Locked Away In Permanent Total Isolation? Thanks for watching, and as always, don’t
forget to like, share and subscribe. See you next time.

100 thoughts on “Why Prisoner Proven Innocent Can’t Be Released

  1. Master Soldier xxx Post author

    The judge needs to be on death row. He ruined a fathers life.

  2. Harry Balzak Post author

    Why hasn't he been granted clemency? The governor should be able to release him if the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles issues a written recommendation.

  3. Gacha Mike Post author

    poor Spencer. I get the whole "I need evidence to prove your're innocent even though you look very innocent" thing as to just be sure, but the whole denying him his trials and all that stuff was just not right. Some guy has to bail this man out seriously he's missin out. I really wonder how his child feels about this if he feels like his father is innocent or guilty. Though he's practically a stranger to that child

  4. Bill Bell Post author

    Anyone that respects any of the players in the justice systems in the Anglo-Saxon world needs his/her head examined.

  5. Yannic Held Post author

    In America you have to prove your innocence.
    I am so happy that in Germany the trial has to prove that you are guilty.
    This could not happen in Germany.

  6. andrea piro Post author

    lol no wonder, that's america we're talking about, the only governments who shot down 2 skyscraper named twin tower just to wage war for making money lol.
    And the people in the country still believe it was "terrorist" Lol

  7. Federico Olivares Post author

    Just a tip, too much camara movement, too much zooming in and out, it truly bothered me…. please keep the frame a little bit more still, no need to change the shot each second

  8. Viridian Post author

    People who send innocent people to prison should get the same sentence they put them at risk for.

  9. mike53153 Post author

    American just us at it's finest.
    Who is watching the watchers?? Don't think it is CNN, MsNBC, ABC or any of the other card carriers they're to busy trying to be FIRST.

    Strangle The Gangs

    Legalize All Drugs

    Legalize Prostitution

    End Welfare Now

  10. Neo2266 Post author

    If anyone ever meets the judge/witness

    Please shoot them in the head

  11. Ismail Muhammad Post author

    What was the connection between him and his co accused ?

  12. Rokib Uddin Post author

    I think the judges were bribed to not let him out. This is the only explanation to that farce justice.

  13. kovyiscool Post author

    If this is true, then this is very sad. You can’t give a man his life back. No amount of money can change that. Sad.

  14. Jorge Emilio Post author

    -Ok, so I have evidence that my client didn't commit the crime, he has an alibi and there is no proof that he was there that night.
    -I see Mr. Wright, and now tell me, you know who the real killer is?
    -Mmmh, no?, is the work of the police to find that out, isn't it?
    -But we have to send someone to jail. GUILTY!!!

  15. Everything Science Post author

    Just another example pf why eye witness testimony shouldn't be used in courts. Especially with how ubiquitous cameras are these days

  16. CPTDOOMED Post author

    I'd be almost afraid to leave my house if I lived in America…

  17. ChiceJigle Post author

    What do I think about this story? Well, I can't say as it would be a threat. 🤷

  18. Vitamin Dealer Post author

    This is also the result of dumb criminal defense lawyers, combined with prosecutorial misconduct

  19. Joe Night Post author

    Here's a thought, couldn't he sue the state for this? I'm sure that this is, at least in part, enough evidence to have a case against the state.

    I'm pretty sure the ACLU would be happy to help him with that. Since his right on a fair Trial is impaired by this stupidity.

  20. Frogthroat1 Post author

    "We've petitioned the governor but he doesn't want to appear soft on people who've been falsely imprisoned." — Futurama (episode: Insane in the Mainframe)

  21. thank me later Post author

    When I was young,I dreamed of moving to America. Now I want to stay in my country.

  22. Aqw aq Post author

    American justice system is just a new form of slavery with over 3 million slaves

  23. Eljon Malapad Post author

    Because the crime organization has ability to manipulate the law

  24. HaleyPlays Post author

    brUH he's STIll in there? dang people don't care anymore .. I feel bad for Spencer.. And the other dude was able to be set free? wow…

  25. Somerandom men Post author


  26. Scott Ferguson Post author

    What a tragic situation Spencer is in. Plus what an idiotic legal system Texas has. I hope that the legal system sees sense and releases him ASAP.

  27. Magma 09 Post author

    And when a person do a mass shooting that is clearly been seen by people the trial would be like 1 year later or something.Great justice America,you sure did live up to your motto "Freedom"

  28. Matthew Schaefer Post author

    Its absolutely disgusting how broken and money driven the justice system is.

  29. Bluefox 40k Post author

    He is probably stuck in there to keep the corporate jail house owner happy. States are fined by theses guys to keep the prisons full even when they should be empty.

  30. Glunkus Post author

    wow, it's like "innocent until proven guilty" means absolutely nothing anymore. leave it to the US government to achieve the ultimate form of hypocrisy

  31. Brad Lee Post author

    Can he be pardoned by a president? We've pardoned actual war criminals before so why can't we pardon him?

  32. ARed Vulpes Post author

    What ever happened to innocent til proven guilty? If the evidence to prove he is guilty is untrue, then they can’t prove he is guilty and must let him go as innocent right? Must be the most ignored part of the bill of rights

  33. craxnor Post author

    So a combination of racist cops and a system afraid of a lawsuit

  34. Laura Beaird Post author

    Innocent. Until. Proven. Guilty. It's a human right as stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Nothing proved him guilty and yet it's being demanded that he proves his innocence? He was wronged on a basic human level. Our system needs to be reformed.

  35. santiago perez Post author

    The judge and witnesses you be sent to life in prison

  36. thetruestarking20000 Post author

    You want an Edmond Dantes? Thats how you get an Edmond Dantes.

  37. Sayantan Nandi Post author

    Is this the legal system of a pathetic banana republic? How can they be so inept?

  38. Logan Edge Post author

    This is in America? Isn't it part of the American justice system that burden of proof is upon the guilty, so he should've been able to get out of prison just by disqualifying their proof. In Britain, burden of proof is upon the accused, but that's supposed to be one of the key differences between the American and British legal systems.

  39. Sherrif Post author

    You guys really need to work on your cinematography, it's migraine inducing and extremely low quality. Considering the work the animation and art teams put into this, your direction is really letting the entire production down.

    Take the video down, it's an embarassment

  40. Ben Dover Post author

    Islam is right about women. Notice how all the witnesses were women. Under Sharia law it takes the testimony of 7 women to equal that of one man.

  41. Joshua Pratt Post author

    I am so so ANGRY. Lies and injustice prevailed where Truth and Justice should have prevailed. All the evidence shows that Spencer is innocent.

  42. NOW MMA Post author

    This is disgusting we get one life and his was absolutely destroyed there’s nothing worse than this

  43. Liam Craig Post author

    So they found the criminal who actually did it but they didn’t let Spencer out

  44. VVVDRK MIND87VVV Post author

    I guess he should have just took the plea deal they offered him! Then he could have just went back and sewed everyone involved in that case

  45. GirlOnInternet Post author

    He was not "proven innocent", a single judge overstepped his bounds and tried to play jury – which is not the judge's role. Spencer has also been convicted beyond a reasonable doubt by two juries in two separate trials – that's 24 people who saw all the evidence and determined that there was absolutely no reasonable doubt in this case.

    This video is pure defense propaganda and nothing more.

  46. Eric Cano Post author

    He cant prove his innocence and yet they convicted on one of the sketchiest stories with no evidence

  47. SirReepicheep Rules Post author

    American justice is supposed to start with "innocent until proven guilty". Not only should this man be released from prison immediately, but the judge, prosecution and cops should be arrested for gross miscarriage of justice.

  48. WHO'S NEXT VEGAS Post author


  49. S Boloshis Post author

    So we all assumed if found innocent you’re let out. Is fixing this going to take a movement, just fix it!

  50. rainystorm88 Post author

    If you’ve ever been wrongfully arrested, you know that “innocent until proven guilty” is complete BS. You have to fight extremely hard to prove your innocence, and you have live your life with an arrest record. Even without a conviction, everyone assumes an arrest record = guilty.

  51. Daniel Gill Post author

    The 5 most important words in this video…!!!!!!!!!!!!!! "the police pressured a witness"

  52. 2randomcrap3 Post author

    More proof that the justice system is only qualified to get justice for the justice system, and occasionally the government that formed the justice system.

  53. Marius Bijan Post author

    But it's not true. My cousin was proved inocent and released after 2 years and he even received a lot of money as moral damage. But I live in Romania.

  54. T Mac41603 Post author

    The American Justice System is the most flawed, overexaggerated, biased criminal justice system on the planet. It was constructed by people who don't know what their doing and being run by people who don't know how to fix it.

  55. Pre-CookedMutton Post author

    Hmmm, yes guilty until and after found innocent.

  56. Callin Hinze Post author

    Why are we not petitioning the government to pardon this man? I will sign it!

  57. Chopstick Gamer Post author

    Donald trumph make ameruxa great again by freeing him

  58. Josh Donoho Post author

    The moral of the story appears to be that if you’re accused of something, just leave the country and start over.

  59. Megan Sadler Post author

    I’m not surprised. There is no justice in America. Just money.

  60. Junior Sarpong Post author

    Make America Great Again…..lol as if it was ever.


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