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A Louisiana man walked out of a state prison after serving 45 years and 10 months of a life sentence for a rape he may not have committed. A district court judge overturned his 1974 rape conviction because the prosecution withheld evidence that strongly suggests he may not have committed the crime.
Louisiana State District Court Judge Richard Anderson released 65-year-old Wilbert Jones this week after ruling that authorities withheld evidence that could have exonerated the man. That evidence included another suspect who more closely resembled the description of the rapist provided by the now deceased victim, TIME magazine reported. Jones was 19-years-old at the time of his conviction. Judge Anderson called the prosecution’s case “weak at best.”
Freedom - Years - Months - Mind - Jones
“Freedom. After more than 45 years and ten months. That’s going through my mind,” Jones said as he was greeted by family and well-wishers outside the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on Wednesday. He thanked the legal team from the Innocence Project New Orleans and said his release would not have been possible without their help.
The original case against Jones rested primarily on testimony from the nurse he allegedly raped. She did not pick Jones out of a lineup until three months after her attack. Police put Jones in the lineup despite the nurse’s description that the attacker was taller and had a “much rougher” voice that Jones did, TIME reported.
Jones - Lawyers - Description
Jones’ lawyers say the description is a...
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