BALTIMORE, Md. (WJZ) — A Baltimore antheral was freed Wednesday aft spending astir 17 years successful situation for a execution helium did not commit, Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby said.
David Morris was sentenced to beingness successful situation with each but 50 years suspended aft helium was convicted successful the 2004 execution of Mustafa Carter. In 2018, the State’s Attorney’s Conviction Integrity Unit took a person look astatine the lawsuit successful effect to concerns from the Innocence Project. The CIU’s reappraisal recovered exculpatory grounds was discovered earlier Morris’ proceedings but ne'er disclosed.
In a statement, Mosby said Morris’ lawsuit is an illustration of the “deeply damaging quality of the humanities failures of the transgression justness system” and her agency’s work to close erstwhile wrongs.
“On behalf of the State, fto maine widen my sincerest apologies to Mr. Morris and his household for the unspeakable trauma inflicted upon him arsenic a effect of this wrongful conviction,” Mosby said. “To the household of Mr. Carter, we volition proceed to usage everything our arsenal to find your son’s killers.”
According to the State’s Attorney’s Office, investigators identified different fishy successful the case, but that accusation wasn’t provided to Morris’ defense. Several different factors – including DNA grounds taken from Carter’s pants that would person ruled retired Morris arsenic a fishy and contradictory accusation from the sole witnesser – indicated “Morris was not involved,” the bureau said successful part.
Besides the evidence, the CIU reappraisal determined the arresting serviceman had been accused of misconduct, which Mosby’s bureau said should person been disclosed to Morris’ defence attorneys. The officer, Michael Nelson, was among those published successful Mosby’s “Do Not Call” list of officers with credibility issues.
Michele Nethercott, an lawyer for the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project and the erstwhile manager of the University of Baltimore Innocence Project Clinic, said the enactment was gratified with the outcome.
“The grounds astatine (Morris’) proceedings was incredibly anemic and our post-conviction probe unearthed adjacent much grounds supporting his longstanding assertion of innocence,” Nethercott said. “We’re grateful to Mr. Carter’s household for assisting successful the probe contempt the symptom it indispensable person caused.”
In 2015, Mosby overhauled the CIU, Maryland’s archetypal specified unit, tasking prosecutors with looking into claims of existent innocence and wrongful convictions. Since then, the CIU has exonerated a full of 11 individuals who served a combined 280 years down bars for crimes they did not commit.