Gerry Conlon was a member of the Guildford Four, a group of young men accused for an attack executed in the United Kingdom who were wrongfully accused of an attack that was really perpetrated by the IRA. Gerry Conlon was arrested and convicted.
On November 30, 1974, at age twenty, he was arrested for an IRA pub bombing in Guildford. He was sentenced to life in prison. Apparently, police had tortured him, forcing him to confess his crime, despite the fact that he had not actually committed it. Conlon hadn’t even been to Guildford.
His family was also convicted of involvement as the Maguire Seven. Later, forensic evidence was overturned and shown to be falsified. All but his father, Giuseppe Conlon, were released; Giuseppe died five years into his prison sentence.
Conlon’s case was reopened shortly after his father’s death in 1980. In 1989, the Court of Appeal found that Conlon had an alibi that meant he could never have committed those bombings. Conlon had served a full fifteen years in prison for the circumstantial evidence and false confessions.
Today, Conlon is an advocate for wrongly imprisoned people like the Birmingham Six and the Bridgewater Three. In the Name of the Father, a movie starring Daniel Day-Lewis, is partially inspired by his autobiography, was released in 1993.