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.
For more awesome press releases about this criminal trial and prosecutorial misconduct: