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Man ordered released after spending 30 years in prison

A California man who spent more than 30 years in prison for murder was ordered to be released after prosecutors filed a motion requesting the dismissal of his case. The man was convicted of a 1984 murder based on a faulty eyewitness identification procedure.

According to reports, the man was convicted of stabbing a 21-year-old man to death in Los Angeles. He has maintained his innocence ever since he was arrested. Prosecutors in their motion stated that he did not get a fair trial.

The person who identified the man was the 17-year-old girlfriend of the victim. She was sitting in a pickup truck with the man who was killed at the time of the crime. Police did not complete the eyewitness identification procedure for weeks after the murder occurred. Evidence that the eyewitness had previously falsely accused another man of rape was also suppressed. The prosecutors agreed that the errors that were made in the case led to the man's not getting a fair trial. There will be a hearing beginning on May 3 to determine whether or not the man is innocent. If he is found to be innocent, he may be able to recover compensation for the decades he served in prison.

When people are accused of homicide, they may want to hire criminal defense lawyers as early as they are able to do so. The earlier that lawyers are able to begin working on their clients' cases, the less likely that evidence will be lost. Lawyers may use investigators and experts to help them build the strongest defense cases possible to violent crimes charges. They may file motions to challenge faulty identification procedures and other problems with the way that the investigations were conducted.

Source: US News, "Man who spent 30 years in prison for LA murder is exonerated", Christopher Weber, March 15, 2017

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