A rare interview with Peter Pringle who talks about his experience as the last person sentenced to death in Ireland, how he struggled to clear his name while dealing with the trauma of serving time for a crime he didn’t commit, and the problems he faced when he was eventually rehabilitated into a changed society.

Two police officers were killed in a shootout following a bank robbery in Ballaghdereen, Ireland. The perpetrators fled the scene. Pringle was later picked up by police and charged with the crime, despite the fact that there was no evidence linking him to it. At his trial, police officers falsely claimed that he had confessed to the robbery during interrogation. Pringle was sentenced to death, despite the fact that when another officer was asked to identify the man he had seen at the scene of the crime, he pointed not at Pringle but at a bystander in the public gallery.

Pringle spent 14 years fighting to prove his innocence. At one point, his lawyers told him to plead for forgiveness, but he wouldn’t take their advice. Instead, Pringle decided to serve as his own counsel and had friends send him the legal papers that he needed to study to craft his defense. After winning access to the documents used against him in court, he was able to show that his alleged confession had actually been written down in an accusing officer’s notebook prior to Pringle’s interrogation. In 1995 he finally was exonerated and released.

“I wasn’t going to plead for clemency for something I didn’t do.”

A Medi-Able Production