Many Oklahoma residents assume that there are enough safeguards in place in the criminal justice system to ensure that an innocent man or woman will not end up behind bars. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Innocent people do end up being convicted of crimes — as serious as murder on occasion. They are entitled to vigorous representation to get that conviction overturned if the evidence supports that outcome.
In 2001, a man was killed outside a nightclub. The Oklahoma Innocence Project (OIP) says that the person convicted of the man’s death was sent to prison for life without the chance of parole. Purportedly, his conviction was based on false testimony and mishandled evidence. Attorneys with OIP also claim that prosecutors withheld information from the man’s defense counsel that could have cleared him.
The man’s attorneys are asking the court to overturn his conviction based on new evidence. Apparently, the man was not even at the club the night of the killing. Three individuals could verify that he was at home, but for some reason, that evidence was not presented in court during the original criminal proceedings. OIP also notes that DNA evidence does not match the incarcerated man, evidence was improperly handled by more than one law enforcement agency and witnesses lied on the stand.
It remains to be seen whether the court will decide to overturn the conviction in this murder case. If it does, the man could be set free. Everyone is entitled to the best defense possible when accused of a crime, and sometimes, that defense does not stop after a conviction and sentencing. Even though it will most likely take time, correcting an injustice is always worth the wait.
Source: kfor.com, “Group asking court to reverse the conviction of Oklahoma man accused of murder“, Dallas Franklin, July 1, 2015