Another Wrongful Conviction Because Prosecutors Withheld Evidence
Finally free, Devonia Inman can look forward to starting over with his
life today. He was exonerated after years spent wrongfully convicted;
23 to be exact. He is now a free man thanks to his defense attorneys.
Inman, who claimed his innocence all along, was finally proven innocent
after being wrongly accused of killing a Taco Bell night manager in Adel,
Georgia. But, unfortunately, he spent nearly two decades behind bars for
something he didn't do. (Pause for one second - can you imagine tomorrow
you are arrested for a murder you did not commit and spend 23 years of
your life in prison?)
Judge Cook County Superior Court Judge Clayton Tomlinson signed an order
dismissing the murder case. He found that evidence withheld by prosecutors
strongly supported Inman's claims of innocence. The Attorney General's
Office did not appeal, and the dismissal now stands.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution covered this case in a podcast called "Breakdown" (it's on Season 4). Inman was convicted without physical evidence--he
went to prison based on the "eyewitness" testimony and witness
statements of 4 prosecution witnesses. Yet, 3 of those witnesses recanted
their stories. At the time of the trial, the judge refused to let Inman's
lawyers present that evidence.
Additionally, a piece of evidence - a mask - actually was retested by the
GBI and came back to another suspect. And that suspect was convicted of
another murder but was never considered for this Taco Bell murder! This
piece of forensic evidence should have evidence at the jury trial, but
the judge and prosecutor decided against it.
Do wrongful convictions happen? Yes, all the time.
Do prosecutors withhold evidence? We hope not, but as you can see here, yes.
Shoutout to the criminal defense attorneys at
Georgia Innocent Project,
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and
Troutman Pepper for the great work!
For more awesome press releases about this criminal trial and prosecutorial