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Wed Nov 27, 2019, 02:01 AM

Maryland trio set free after being wrongfully jailed for 36 years

Source: BBC News


26 November 2019

Three men falsely convicted of murder in the US state of Maryland have been set free after 36 years in prison.

Alfred Chestnut, Andrew Stewart and Ransom Watkins had been sentenced to life in 1984 for killing a 14-year-old boy a year earlier.

They were freed in Baltimore on Monday after a judge cleared their convictions following a review of their case.

The case was reopened this year after Mr Chestnut sent a letter to Baltimore's Conviction Integrity Unit.

He included evidence he had uncovered last year.

Read more: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-50557396





BALTIMORE: (From left) Alfred Chesnut, Andrew Stewart and Ransom Watkins pose for a photo after their release on Monday. — AFP

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Reply Maryland trio set free after being wrongfully jailed for 36 years (Original post)
Judi Lynn Nov 27 OP
chowder66 Nov 27 #1
democrank Nov 27 #2
NurseJackie Nov 27 #3
cab67 Nov 27 #4
Polybius Nov 27 #9
cab67 Nov 27 #15
Baitball Blogger Nov 27 #5
mountain grammy Nov 27 #6
ArizonaLib Nov 27 #7
maxsolomon Nov 27 #12
Bayard Nov 27 #8
Archae Nov 27 #10
Bayard Nov 27 #11
maxsolomon Nov 27 #13
Archae Nov 27 #14
cab67 Nov 27 #16

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Nov 27, 2019, 02:17 AM

1. Stories like these are so bitter sweet. I'm furious that it takes so long for these people

to get the justice they deserve and am heartened that the truth finally emerges. I hope they get compensation for the years stolen from them.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Nov 27, 2019, 06:04 AM

2. So glad these men are now free

but what kind of “justice” takes 36 years?

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Nov 27, 2019, 07:08 AM

3. I think they deserve some compensation...

... this really deserves more than "oops! Our bad! Now you're free. Off you go! Sorry."

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Nov 27, 2019, 08:00 AM

4. These men are my age.

They were arrested in 1983. In that time, I've finished high school, college, and grad school. I've held a career; gotten married (a couple of times) and started a family; paid into Social Security and a retirement account; built credit; attended funerals and weddings; celebrated holidays; and gone on the occasional vacation. I've kept current with technology and job skills. All while these three gentlemen rotted in a cell.

They were arrested as teenagers. They may have never had a bank account or driver's license. They may never have used an ATM or credit card, and the first time they'd have used a cell phone would have been right after they were released. They're coming out with no health insurance. They have 36 year holes in their resumes, their job skills aren't current, and they're close to the age when they should be planning for retirement and not entry level. And a lot of people will always be looking at them as the murderers they're not.

There's also this - they'll probably never be able to use Social Security. They haven't paid into the system.

As far as I'm concerned, they should be given the means to be independent for the rest of their lives.

And read up about the cop who arrested them. This isn't the first wrongful conviction he was involved with. One of the characters in the old NBC series "Homicide: Life on the Streets" was based on him. If he doesn't end up in a prison cell himself (where he belongs), he should at least lose his pension.

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Response to cab67 (Reply #4)

Wed Nov 27, 2019, 10:16 AM

9. I'm sure they'll sue big

I expect them to get at least 5 million each, and they deserve it.

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Response to Polybius (Reply #9)

Wed Nov 27, 2019, 12:26 PM

15. Easier said than done.

The officer responsible for this travesty was involved in a previous wrongful conviction. He was sued, but the judge threw it out. Such lawsuits sometimes succeed, but not always - even when police and/or prosecutors acted in a flagrantly unethical (and even illegal) manner.

Read up about the case of John Thompson in Louisiana to see how hard it is for exonerees to get justice through the courts.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Nov 27, 2019, 08:41 AM

5. Ohhhhh, how did I know they were black before seeing the picture?

I'm prescient.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Nov 27, 2019, 09:26 AM

6. Land of the free home of the brave.

Yeah right!!!!!

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Nov 27, 2019, 09:47 AM

7. Why isn't this in our news?

Probably because it is going to keep happening.

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Response to ArizonaLib (Reply #7)

Wed Nov 27, 2019, 11:23 AM

12. did you do a search? it is.

among the top results:
USA Today
NPR
CNN
WaPo

the BBC link is just the very top result.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Nov 27, 2019, 10:05 AM

8. In the mean time,

The real killer has been free.

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Response to Bayard (Reply #8)

Wed Nov 27, 2019, 10:56 AM

10. According to ABC news, a different guy was identified as the shooter...

Who died a little later, probably from gang warfare.

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Response to Archae (Reply #10)

Wed Nov 27, 2019, 11:01 AM

11. That's even more egregious

If they had identified the real shooter, why did they keep these 3 guys in prison?

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Response to Bayard (Reply #11)

Wed Nov 27, 2019, 11:24 AM

13. as accomplices?

the Reagan era was outrageously punitive.

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Response to Bayard (Reply #11)

Wed Nov 27, 2019, 11:44 AM

14. No doubt a local DA wanted those "notches on his gun."

DA's are quite often politically ambitious and will fight like hell to keep those who are wrongly convicted in jail, no matter the actual evidence.

I saw one former DA who ran for a judgeship and won, he ran on his conviction of a rapist-murderer.
He called DNA testing that showed the DA had convicted the wrong guy "voodoo."

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Response to Bayard (Reply #11)

Wed Nov 27, 2019, 12:27 PM

16. The real shooter wasn't acknowledged by law enforcement.

Some eyewitnesses fingered him, but this was passed over for reasons currently unknown.

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