When Kirk Bloodsworth was convicted and sentenced to death for raping and killing a nine year-old girl, the audience in Baltimore County’s circuit court in Maryland broke out into wild applause. It was July of 1984, and at 22 years old, the former Marine was the most notorious man in Maryland. His crimes were so brutal, that even inmates threatened to kill him; one bashed him on the back of the head with a sock full of batteries.
After serving nine years behind bars--two on death row--Bloodsworth became the first person in America to be exonerated by DNA evidence and released from prison. He is now director of advocacy for “Witness to Innocence”, which is attempting to convince the 32 remaining states where the death penalty remains legal, to repeal it.