Taryn Simon, WILLIAM GREGORY from The Innocents, 2000
Wick's Parlor, Louisville, Kentucky
With fiancée Vicki Kidwell, whom he dated prior to conviction
Gregory was a pool champion in prison
Served 7 years of a 70-year sentence
"The Innocents (2002) documents the stories of individuals who served time in prison for violent crimes they did not commit. At issue is the question of photography's function as a credible eyewitness and arbiter of justice.
The primary cause of wrongful conviction is mistaken identification. A victim or eyewitness identifies a suspected perpetrator through law enforcement's use of photographs and lineups. This procedure relies on the assumption of precise visual memory. But, through exposure to composite sketches, mugshots, Polaroids, and lineups, eyewitness memory can change. In the history of these cases, photographyoffered the criminal justice system a tool that transformed innocent citizens into criminals. Photographs assisted officers in obtaining eyewitness identifications and aided prosecutors in securing convictions."