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Similar felonies by another man might be the key to freeing a man

Despite the safeguards put into place by the criminal justice system here in the United States, innocent people sometimes end up being convicted of crimes they did not commit. A man who has spent the majority of his life in a Louisiana correctional institution claims that he was wrongfully convicted. He says that another man who was committing similar felonies at the same time actually committed the crime.

He goes on to claim that prosecutors failed to share this vital piece of evidence during his original trial. That information could have exonerated him or at least provided reasonable doubt regarding his guilt. He was accused of raping a nurse kidnapped from the parking lot of a hospital in 1971. 

Only recently did the man's attorneys uncover details regarding the other man. In fact, the victim in the case that sent this man to prison originally identified him as her assailant. However, years later, she retracted her identification saying that his voice and height were not consistent with the man she remembered. Unfortunately, that woman died some years ago, and much of the evidence relating to her case appears to have disappeared. This man's attorneys could face an uphill battle as the man's age advances and his health declines.

Louisiana residents who are accused of felonies deserve the chance to challenge all of the evidence gathered by police. Prosecutors have a duty to divulge all evidence to the defense, including any that might prove innocence. When that does not happen and a person who could be innocent goes to prison, it undermines this country's system of justice and leads to the conviction of an innocent person. It is the job of criminal defense attorneys to ensure this does not happen or to correct an injustice.

Source: nola.com, "Man seeking new trial in 1971 Baton Rouge rape case claims state hid evidence", Jan. 17, 2017

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