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Man Who Served 28 Years In Prison For Murder He Didn’t Commit, Freed After Conviction Was Overturned

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A 50-year-old man’s conviction has been overturned after serving nearly 28 years to life in prison for a murder he had often claimed he did not commit.

Lamar Johnson closed his eyes and shook his head slightly as a member of his legal team tapped him on the back as the judge announced the verdict.

Johnson was found guilty of the October 1994 murder of Marcus Boyd, who was shot dead on his porch by two masked men in St. Louis. Louis, Missouri.

Conviction
Lamar Johnson

The case for his release revolved around a key witness who withdrew his testimony and an inmate who admitted that he – not Mr. Johnson – was the second man involved in the murder.

Circuit Judge David Mason stated that in order to reach his decision there must be “reliable evidence of actual innocence – evidence sufficiently credible as to actually meet the standard of clarity and conviction”.

About two hours after the verdict was announced, he went to reporters outside the court and thanked everyone who had worked on his case, as well as the judge.

“It’s incredible,” said Johnson, who didn’t respond to any questions.

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His lawyers said he now plans to reconnect with his family and have experiences that were denied to him during incarceration for most of his adult life.

“While today brings joy, nothing can restore all that the state stole from him. Nothing will give him back the nearly three decades he lost while separated from his daughters and family,” his lawyers added.

“The evidence that proved his innocence was available at his trial, but it was kept hidden or ignored by those who saw no value in the lives of two young black men from the South Side.”

St. Louis attorney Kim Gardner filed an application for Johnson’s release in August after an investigation conducted by her office with the help of the Innocence Project convinced her he was telling the truth.

Man Who Served 28 Years In Prison For Murder He Didn’t Commit, Freed After Conviction Was Overturned

She praised the referee and told the assembled journalists: “Mr. Lamar Johnson. Thanks. You are free.”

The state’s Republican-led attorney general’s office is fighting to keep Johnson in prison.

Madeline Serene, a spokeswoman for the bureau, said she would not do anything about the case but defended the pressure to keep him behind bars.

“As he stated when he was sworn in, Attorney General (Andrew) Bailey has a duty to uphold the statutes as they are written,” Serene wrote.

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