A Law Firm Representing the Rights of Employees and the Victims of Wrongful Injury

Wrongfully Convicted of Rape, Joseph Buffey Is Freed From Prison After Nearly 15 Years

Submitted by on Thu, 13/10/16 - 19:23

On Tuesday, October 13, 2016, Joe Buffey walked out of the Harrison County Courthouse a free man for the first time in nearly 15 years. Allan N. Karlin and others in his firm, along with attorneys from the Innocence Project, represented Mr. Buffey in obtaining a landmark decision from the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, which set aside his conviction and held that a prosecutor's duty to disclose exculpatory evidence extends to the plea bargaining stage of a criminal proceeding.   

According to the victim’s contemporaneous statements to the police and sexual assault nurse, this was a one perpetrator crime.  Yet, as early as 2002 the State knew that the DNA evidence excluded Joe Buffey as that perpetrator, but that evidence was not disclosed to him or his counsel prior to his plea and, even after it was disclosed, the State refused to recognize that it established that the perpetrator was not Joe Buffey.  Even after the decision by the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals setting aside his conviction, the State insisted on taking the case to trial on a theory that the victim was mistaken and that, unbeknownst to her, she was sexually assaulted by two perpetrators rather than one.  

Prior to the trail, attorneys from Bailey Glasser joined the defense team and, along with Allan N. Karlin and the Innocence Project, negotiated Joe Buffey’s path to freedom.

Joe Buffey's Freedom Is a Victory for All of Us - WV MetroNews

Joseph Buffey Agrees to Plea Deal, Freed After 15 Years in Prison - Charleston Gazette-Mail

Buffey Pleads Guilty, But Not to Sex Crimes, and Doesn't Give Factual Basis - The Exponent Telegram

Man Walks Free - WBOY