Shariff Wilson had spent 21 years of his life, which represents over half of his entire life in Prison for 3 murders which he had not committed according to news reports.
According to New York Daily News, Wilson had been hospitalized since late December as he suffered from acute respiratory distress syndrome. His lawyer, Adam Perlmutter told Huntington Post that Wilson’s death is a “terrible tragedy” which was contributed to by the 22 years he spent in prison for a crime he did not commit. “He was a healthy 15-year-old boy when he went into prison, and he emerged obese and unhealthy”, his lawyer commented.
Wilson and his friend, Antonio Yarbough were convicted in the murder of Yarbough’s mother, sister and cousin in 1992. Wilson who was 15 years at the time had confessed to the murder while implicating his friend in order to receive a lighter sentence. However, in 2005, Wilson wrote a note while in prison confessing his wrongdoing for implicating Yarbough and explaining that the police had forced him to do it at the time.
DNA evidence later found on Yarbough’s mother’s body revealed the actual murder victim, Madgalia Ruiz who got killed in 1999 while both Wilson and Yarbough were still in prison.
Although, Yarbough has every reason in the world to be bitter against Wilson, it was reported that his attitude towards him as being that of forgiveness.
In February, Brooklyn District Attorney agreed that both men should be exonerated and they were released.