Nearly twenty years ago, a man was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder. Today, new DNA evidence may exonerate him. An Ohio resident was convicted of murder based on the testimony of a fellow jail inmate, who testified that the man confessed to committing the crime. When cross-examined by the defense, the fellow inmate admitted that he was giving testimony to bolster his chances of privileges, such as a community control sentence and visitation with his children.
The accused man, his wife, and another person were early suspects in the case, but charges were dropped against the latter two. In court, neighbors said they had seen the accused exit the victim’s house the night of the crime, however, none of them were able to identify the Ohio resident in a photo array. There was no physical evidence against the accused. A gun that was supposed to be the murder weapon was found in another man’s car. In the 1995 trial, the accused received a life sentence in prison.
In 2008, the sentenced man asked for DNA testing, which the court granted a couple years later. In 2011, DNA tests confirmed that the gun found in another man’s car was, in fact, the murder weapon. DNA tests were run on the gun’s magazine, a cigarette butt from the scene, rope that tied the victim, a knife at the scene, and the victim’s shirt and fingernail clippings. Some tests yielded an “inconclusive” result, and the rest showed that none of the sentenced man’s DNA was found on these objects from the crime scene. When he requested a new trial, the state appealed. Judges overruled this appeal, however, and he will get to stand trial again to take a fresh look at whether he is innocent or guilty.
Our court system is geared to protect the innocent as much as possible as they are “innocent until proven guilty.” Sadly, many people do end up with mistaken convictions. Whether or not this man is such a person is yet to be determined, but there are surely innocent people who have been served sentences they never deserved. This is something that we never want to see. Our team of criminal defense lawyers in Delaware, Ohio is dedicated to providing a rigorous defense of the innocent. Unfortunately, innocence is not its own defense; a jury needs to see compelling evidence. That is why our firm personally investigates every aspect of a client’s case, working tirelessly to provide the proof necessary. If you are facing criminal charges, do not hesitate to call our firm to reach a Delaware criminal defense attorney today.