Exonerated Man Fatally Shot by Deputy During Traffic Stop

         

Summary: Leonard Cure, a man who spent 16 years imprisoned for a wrongful conviction, was shot and killed by a Georgia sheriff’s deputy during a traffic stop. Cure had been compliant until he was told he was under arrest, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. The shooting is under investigation, and video footage will be reviewed. Cure’s tragic death highlights the disproportionate risk that Black Americans face of being wrongfully convicted or killed by police.

Leonard Cure, who spent 16 years in prison for a wrongful conviction, was fatally shot by a Georgia sheriff’s deputy during a traffic stop. Cure had been complying with the deputy until he was told he was under arrest. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation stated that Cure assaulted the deputy after being tased, leading the deputy to use a baton and then shoot him. Video footage of the incident will be reviewed. The shooting has raised concerns about the disproportionate risk that Black Americans face of being wrongfully convicted or killed by the police.

Studies have shown that Black Americans face a higher risk of wrongful conviction or being killed by law enforcement. Seth Miller, executive director of the Innocence Project of Florida, highlighted the anxiety that exonerated individuals like Cure experience, fearing that they may be taken back to jail or prison at any moment. Cure had plans to attend college and had shared his story with high school students at an Innocence Project event in Georgia. Florida prosecutors, who had reviewed his case and agreed to his release, were devastated by the news.

The details surrounding Cure’s shooting have not been fully disclosed, as the investigation is ongoing. The authorities have not released the name of the deputy involved, who has been placed on administrative leave. The shooting occurred as Cure was driving to his recently purchased home in Atlanta after visiting his ill mother. Black people in the United States have been nearly three times more likely to be killed by law enforcement officers than white people over the past decade, and they also face a higher risk of wrongful conviction. Cure’s wrongful conviction was overturned in 2020, and he received compensation and educational benefits for his time in prison. However, the fear of being sent back to prison never fades away for those who have experienced wrongful convictions.

Christopher Ochoa, another exoneree, shared that he still feels anxiety when dealing with the police, despite being released for 21 years. Ochoa spent 12 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit. Cure’s tragic death serves as a reminder of the deep-rooted issues of racial disparities and wrongful convictions within the justice system.

Tags: Leonard Cure, traffic stop, wrongful conviction, sheriff’s deputy, Georgia Bureau of Investigation, police shooting, racial disparities, exoneration, Black Americans, criminal justice system

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