Jumaat, Mac 30, 2007

U.S. man found innocent, freed after decade in prison

U.S. man found innocent, freed after decade in prison:
ST. LOUIS: After more than a decade in prison, a 41-year-old man was freed Thursday when a Missouri judge found he was not guilty of the carjacking for which he had been convicted.

Antonio Beaver was exonerated based on DNA analysis that was not available when the robbery was committed. Tests determined the blood at the crime scene was not Beaver's.

An hour after arriving in court wearing an orange prison jump suit, Beaver was wearing a sport coat and slacks, talking to reporters during his first moments of freedom.

"This feels strange," Beaver said. "I'd like to give my thanks to God, because there is a God and he knew I was innocent from the start."

Beaver filed his own motion for a post-conviction DNA test in 2001. He was later assisted by The Innocence Project, a New York-based legal center that seeks to uncover wrongful convictions.

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce, who filed a joint request seeking Beaver's release, choked back tears and told Beaver her office would help him re-enter society.

"I am personally very distressed to see a case such as this," said Joyce, promising to help Beaver seek compensation from the state under a new Missouri law that pays inmates exonerated of crimes.

Beaver could be paid up to $50 (€37.5) for each day he spent in prison, roughly $193,000 (€144,547) in all.

Beaver said the money could not replace all he has lost.

"I just about lost connection with my sons. They're grown now," he said. "I wanted to be a father to them, but I couldn't. That was took from me."

Beaver had been convicted of robbery in 1997 and sentenced to 18 years in prison.

During the carjacking, someone threatened a woman with a screwdriver. The woman stabbed the man with the screwdriver, leaving traces of his blood in the car. The victim later identified Beaver in a lineup, but his lawyers now say that lineup was flawed.

Joyce said authorities have identified a new suspect in the case. He already is incarcerated for another crime, but she would not give details.
Related post: , , , ,

Tiada ulasan:

Catat Ulasan