Can a guilty charge be overturned if the witnesses publicly admits that they lied on the stand?

If I was found guilty of a crime and the witnesses that testified against me are now stating on national television they lied. Can and should my guilty verdict be overturned?

Asked on September 21, 2011 under Criminal Law, Georgia

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It would be advisable to file an appeal of your conviction based on the witnesses admitting they lied.  It is not possible to predict the outcome of your case as to whether or not your guilty verdict will be overturned, but you should definitely pursue an appeal.  Was there other evidence against you in addition to these witnesses who have recanted their testimony?  If not, then you could claim that without the testimony of the witnesses, the prosecution did not meet the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.  If there is other evidence against you besides the witnesses, depending on what that evidence is, you may be able to argue that the evidence standing alone is not sufficient for the prosecution to establish proof beyond a reasonable doubt.


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