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"I was a high school dropout on my way nowhere, so, yeah, I looked for an escape when I could afford one. I'm not saying I didn't make some mistakes or maybe even commit a few crimes, but killing those kids was not one of them."
— Leonard Bailey to Rachel Zane

Leonard Bailey is a man who was wrongfully convicted of murder and spent twelve years on Death Row. In 2016, his execution date was set, although with the help Jessica Pearson and Rachel Zane, he was exonerated and freed.

History

"You don't know me. All you know is what you read in some damn file. I didn't kill anyone. I've been saying it for 12 years and I can prove it."
―Leonard Bailey to Rachel Zane[src]

Leonard Bailey was a high school dropout and drug user. After becoming high on meth with his friend Maria Gomez one night, he witnessed two bleeding children street, one male and one female. While the male had already succumbed to his injuries, the female, Kim Forrest, was alive, and Leonard stayed with her until she died. When the police arrived on the scene, however, they arrested Leonard for the murder of both children.

Victor Forrest, Kim's father, was adamant that Leonard was his daughter's murderer, and wanting Leonard to pay, he paid off Maria Gomez and had her relocated to a high-end rehab facility. With Maria no longer around to provide an alibi testimony that would prove Leonard's innocence, Leonard was given a death sentence. Leonard spent 12 years in prison, and after his wife divorced him two years into his sentence, leaving him estranged from his aunt who raised him and his two kids, as they all believed him to be guilty, he spent 10 years attempting to seek legal counsel to exonerate himself.

In 2016, his case was picked up by the Innocence Project and tasked to Rachel Zane, although Columbia University did not have the time nor resources to handle it. Not wanting to abandon Leonard, Rachel convinced Jessica Pearson to become co-counsel on the case. Not wanting the case reopened, Leonard was given 30 more days to live until he was executed, although Jessica was able to grant him 60. Leonard was offered a deal in which his death sentence would be overturned if he spent seven more years in prison, which Jessica urged he take, although both he and Rachel wished to fight for his innocence.

After Jessica was able to have Victor confess to the court that he had hid Maria to prevent Leonard from having an alibi, the judge granted Leonard's release from prison, reuniting him with his daughter Maya in the process.[1]

Appearances

References

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