Shadow: From John Tighe to Gary Dotson, Exoneration Is Hard Because Courts Don’t Like to Admit They’re Wrong

Gary Dotson is an American man who was the first person to be exonerated of a criminal conviction by DNA evidence. I

By Shadow State

A very serious obstacle obstructing the exoneration of John Tighe is that courts do not like to admit they’re wrong, even when evidence points clearly to miscarriage of justice.

The case of Chicagoan, Gary E. Dotson is pertinent to this point.

Dotson (born August 3, 1957) was the first person to be exonerated of a criminal conviction by DNA evidence.

In May 1979, he was found guilty and sentenced to 25 to 50 years’ imprisonment for rape, and kidnapping.  The conviction was upheld by the appellate court in 1981.

In 1985, the accusing witness, Cathy Crowell Webb, after joining a Baptist church, recanted her testimony, which had been the only evidence against Dotson.

She admitted she lied.

Dotson was not exonerated or pardoned but due to popular belief that he was a victim of a false rape accusation, he was paroled [and violated it and returned to prison], still considered guilty, until DNA evidence proved his innocence in 1988.

Dotson was subsequently cleared of his conviction.

But suppose there was no DNA?

The witness, Crowell Webb admitted she had consensual sex with her boyfriend and Dotson did not rape her.  Regardless of her recantation, it took a special hearing by Illinois Governor James Thompson to release Dotson from prison.

Only the new science of DNA finally exonerated Gary Dotson.

The Dotson case also illustrates that when a person like Cathy Crowell Webb or Allison Mack fabricates evidence, it can result in serious injustices.  Innocent people can be wrongly convicted of crimes that never happened.

Consiider what Allison falsely wrote about her father and her siblings abusing their children.

I am hoping and praying that John Tighe is exonerated and NXIVM and its leaders are ground into the dust.

But it is clear, it will not be easy. The present criminal justice system in America, often mistake the criminals with the upholders of the law. In some instances, it might better be called the Criminal’s Justice System. This may be the case with john Tighe, where criminals put an innocent man in prison.

This was the old rule – respected by freedom loving people everywhere. In America, the new rule is “Better that 100 innocent people languish in prison than one judge or prosecutor be embarrassed.”
Image result for incarceration rates by nation
Nice legacy.

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    • Flowers:
      The one fatal flaw in the death penalty is that if a person is executed based on a wrongful conviction there is no way to undo the mistake.
      Because of an atrocious record in Illinois of wrongful convictions the death penalty was finally eliminated but many American states still have the death penalty on the books.
      Of course Canada eliminated the death penalty long ago.

      • This is the main reason why I’m opposed to the death penalty. I would rather 100 guilty criminals rot in prison for life than take the life of one innocent person.

    • I say FUCK those innocent Canadians who were later exonerated. 🙂

      You want facts? I’ll give you facts.

      In a frozen wasteland of 40 million people, the fact that you’re harping about 23 innocent pussies only demonstrates how RARE it is.

      There are MUCH greater injustices than 23 innocent turds who got convicted.

      What injustices?

      Well, such as the INNOCENT BABY SEALS being clubbed over the head by wicked Canadians each year.

      Why do you support that, Flower girl?

      I submit to you that baby seals are the cutest beings in the universe. Clubbing them over the head is something out of Satan’s playbook.

      The uncivilized Canadian legal system allows such wickedness to happen.

      I stand with baby seals. I support them. They deserve human rights IMO, though they happen not to be human. 🙂

      • You know I don’t support it, Mr Gaslighter. Quit stalking me and reading my SM feed and then misconstruing my comments.

        I’m sure you not only own a baby seal parka yourself, you probably killed and skinned the baby seals yourself, Bangkook. You seems like the kind of person who enjoys torturing innocent creatures with big, doe eyes.
        Am I correct?

  • I saw a US TV programme called Justice By Any Means which covered the case of Thomas Haynesworth who was wrongly convicted for multiple rapes and served 27 years in prison. More offences were committed afterThomas was imprisoned, but Thomas stayed inside. The real, self-proclaimed “Black Ninja” , Leon Davis, was almost a doppelganger, although there was a height difference. He lived in the same neighbourhood as Thomas. They never met until the real perpetrator went to prison for more sexual assaults. The TV programme said that the Davis even asked Thomas to take the blame for some other offences. Exoneration was difficult to achieve in this case too.

  • You are good at spinning your own assumptions and passing them off as facts by the words you choose. Did I miss something, or are you related to Keith?

  • Sorry asshole, but no justice system can function if 90% of violent criminals go free just so that an occasional innocent person doesn’t get convicted by mistake.

    Nothing in human society is perfect.

    Get used to it. Get over it. That’s fucken life.

    It’s not fair that poor people die because they can’t afford medical treatment, but that’s just how the cookie crumbles.

    It’s not fair that drone strikes occasionally kill innocent bystanders by accident. Yet we don’t get rid of armed drones, cuz that’s just part of the price of war.

    It’s not fair that every year kids die or get paralyzed from football injuries, yet we don’t outlaw high school football (even though doing so would save a few lives).

    Even cheerleaders die due to freak accidents, yet we don’t outlaw cheerleading practice.


    Shit happens.

    We’ll always have innocent casualties in EVERY part of society, including the justice system.

    To those few people who were proven innocent by DNA, I say FUCK THEM.

    They can kiss my ass. Boo fucking hoo.

    I don’t give a rat’s ass about those innocent people convicted cuz they were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. It’s no different from accidentally getting run over by a bus. Wrong place, wrong time.

    We ain’t gonna get rid of public buses just cuz every once in a while some asshole (or bitch) gets run over by one.

    • Bangkok,

      I let your adoring fans Son of Bangkok and Paul know you were not going to be home from camp until 5:30pm. I can see from your 6:05 pm post-time that you had dinner and a bath.

      I don’t think “Son of Bangkok” and Paul believed me.

      If they check the time stamps they will see I was telling the truth. 😉

    • Or they weren’t entirely innocent. Innocent of that murder but guilty of a few others or guilty of the burglary that was overlooked in the commission of the murder by more than one etc

      • Yes, that is an interesting point, Jane. I’ve heard that Germany has an interesting and more humane prison system that seems to work pretty well. And I like your article Shadow! It’s a fascinating subject. I really don’t know enough about the justice system anywhere to comment one way or another, but I’m enjoying the debate. Even Bang kook has a point sort of. Although a little harsh. I definitely wouldn’t say “fuck em”. I think it’s a horrible tragedy when people go to jail unjustly.

        Great documentary– “The Staircase”. Riveting. I highly recommend if you haven’t seen it.

        • My position on the death penalty has changed quite a bit over the years.
          When I was younger I supported it and it is difficult to work up much sympathy for serial killers.
          Even though I have had relatives and even a close family friend murdered I know that there are enough flaws in the legal system that the death penalty will never be 100% accurate.
          Somewhere, sometime an innocent person will be executed and there is no way to right that wrong.
          Also as a conservative I hesitate to give the State, any State, the power of life or death over its citizens.
          That is too much power to exercise.
          Too much power to give to the government.

  • From a layman’s point of view, John Tighe’s biggest problem is that he admitted guilt rather than mount a defense. While this may have been tactically wise as a means of limiting his sentence, from a strategic perspective it was disastrous . The court has little obligation to review a case wherein the accused stood before a judge, with his attorney present, and swore that he was pleading guilty because he really did commit the crimes he was accused of. He’s in a very difficult spot, I’m afraid.

  • 3% of Americans are either in jail, in prison, on probation, out on bail, on parole, in a young offenders unit, or awaiting sentencing.

    The net benefit to society is debatable.

    Welcome to the United States of Incarceration.

    • Many Americans are in prison for drug crimes.
      Mandatory Minimum laws have landed many Americans in prison for crimes where people are basically harming themselves which is why there is a push to legalize marijuana in many states.
      Although I don’t like legalized marijuana fiscal pressures make continued incarceration for minor drug crimes increasing untenable for many states.
      Illinois just became the eleventh state to legalize marijuana.

    • 3% of 500 Million people?

      I’d say we have more work to do cuz at least 15% of our population are degenerate thugs who really don’t benefit society in any way. 🙂

      We need MORE incarceration, not less.

      We need to also deport all felons to somewhere like Antarctica or Canada, so they can’t keep ruining things for law abiding US citizens.

      • There is evidence in the computer that had the child porn on it. We can ” believe” that John is innocent just as easily that we believe in the Easter Bunny.
        That computer shows to a computer expert who ever sent that child porn to john and that fully traceable.
        So, the evidence is there. Maybe he’s innocent. But , this constant writing that he was framed is as bogus as
        the night is young.
        I thought there was critical thinking people on this blog. I guess not.

        • Oh Miss Bunny,

          MAC addresses can be spoofed just like IP addresses…….

          ……….That is why in order to prosecute an individual for “internet” crimes the criminal’s hard drive must be retrieved.

          Bunny and all the other doubters look it up….

          That is why I believe it’s possible John Tighe was framed…..

          …..besides the fact that the child porn was only accessed one time….. and the fact that John Tighe did not posses anything else.

          A great example of a typical child porn pedophile is the male actor from the television show ‘Glee’.

        • Good post Bunny.

          3 days ago I posted about asking John Tighe to take a lie detector test when he gets out of prison next year, just for the court of public opinion (not for legal reasons).

          It would help get people on his side if he’s truly innocent. If he chickens out, we’ll know that he’s worried about failing it and is probably guilty.

          But Frank has blocked that post and won’t approve it (he’ll probably approve it after another week, after that thread drops low enough that nobody will ever see my post).

          Frank likes to censor people that way.

          Frank won’t allow a fair conversation about John Tighe cuz he’s a sycophant who seeks to protect any conversation that may cast a negative light on Tighe.

          Frank ain’t no journalist. He’s a fanboy of John Tighe and wishes to foist his opinion on us about Tighe’s innocence.

        • Also, Miss Bunny there is no proof that it was even his computer. Also, they found it on there after months of having a bunch of computers in their possession just sitting around. They would’ve found it straight away. What was with the delay? It is 100 percent sketchorama. But you’re right. Critical think ing is good. It’s good to keep an open mind and maybe he is not innocent. But you seem closed off to the idea that he is.

        • Miss Bunny (btw, are you trying to impersonate Heidi by using that name?)…don’t you think its possible that the porn was planted on John’s computer? Surely that is possible, and recently Alex Jones had issues with something similar. As much as I despise Jones, it would be a crime for someone to plant illegal material on his computer, but apparently it was deliberately planted.

      • I think Shadow State is the Bomb!

        1) SS has made himself an expert on all things NXIVM and even contributes his distinct brand of Wikipedia fueled investigative journalism to the Frank. But strangely he only arrived at the Frank AFTER Allison Mack’s involvement with the cult was revealed.

        2) When The Vanguard penetrated Allison Mack, whether it be with his flaccid penis or hot sauce coated tongue, he was boldly going places where SS had only dreamed (and probably still dreams) of going.

        But who am I to throw stones? When Frank publishes photos of the slightly strabismic Ludwika Paleta aka Mrs Emi Salinas, I get a woody you could tow a boat with!

About the Author

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in hundreds of news outlets, like The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CBS News, Fox News, New York Post, New York Daily News, Oxygen, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The Sun, The Times of London, CBS Inside Edition, among many others in all five continents.

His work to expose and take down NXIVM is featured in books like “Captive” by Catherine Oxenberg, “Scarred” by Sarah Edmonson, “The Program” by Toni Natalie, and “NXIVM. La Secta Que Sedujo al Poder en México” by Juan Alberto Vasquez.

Parlato has been prominently featured on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and was the lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” Parlato was also credited in the Starz docuseries "Seduced" for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Additionally, Parlato’s coverage of the group OneTaste, starting in 2018, helped spark an FBI investigation, which led to indictments of two of its leaders in 2023.

Parlato appeared on the Nancy Grace Show, Beyond the Headlines with Gretchen Carlson, Dr. Oz, American Greed, Dateline NBC, and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, where Parlato conducted the first-ever interview with Keith Raniere after his arrest. This was ironic, as many credit Parlato as one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

Parlato is a consulting producer and appears in TNT's The Heiress and the Sex Cult, which premiered on May 22, 2022. Most recently, he consulted and appeared on Tubi's "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM," which aired January, 2023.

IMDb — Frank Parlato

Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083