They said they did it.
Eric Kelley signed a confession saying he stabbed the Paterson video store clerk during a 1993 robbery.
Ralph Lee signed one, too, admitting he beat the clerk with a car radio as the clerk struggled with Kelley.
The two young black men said in their confessions they left the store with a handful of cash and some electronics, which they pawned for drug money as their victim lay dying. During the robbery, they said, a white accomplice kept watch outside.
A prosecutor later dubbed the trio the “rainbow coalition of evil.”
Their alleged accomplice, who denied everything, was acquitted. There was no physical evidence connecting any of the three to the scene, and Kelley and Lee quickly recanted their confessions, claiming they made them up under pressure from police.
Two juries found them guilty anyway.
After all, who would confess to a crime they didn’t commit?
The Innocence Project, which has taken up