Law Offices of Jess C. Bedore III - Certified Specialist in Criminal Law
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After 34 years, man out of jail due to 'shameful' police conduct

In 1979, the wife of a police officer in New Orleans was killed. The police quickly had a suspect who was convicted of the crime even though all the police and prosecutors had on him was a confession. They didn’t have the murder weapon, and the physical evidence didn't seem to correlate with the suspect.

What they did do is interrogate the suspect for four hours, and the suspect claims he was given drugs and alcohol during the questioning as well. After this grueling process, he confessed to the crime.

There were other potential suspects, and it appeared as though the case was flimsy. And yet in 1983 the man was convicted of the murder, only for the conviction to be overturned by the state Supreme Court. He was convicted again in 1990 for murder in a lesser degree than the 1983 conviction.

Recently though, the district attorney released the man who spent 34 years in jail for a crime he did not commit. His life was essentially taken from him, and what he has left of that life will never be the same. 34 years in prison is bound to change anyone.

What we see here is an investigation that was botched from the get-go, and a prosecution that clearly wasn't handled well. We also see how bias in a criminal case can creep in. Since the victim was the wife of a police officer, it stands to reason that the officers involved in the case would do everything in their power -- and maybe things that shouldn’t be in their power -- to "make the case."

Source: NOLA.com, "Man freed from prison after DA acknowledges misconduct in '79 New Orleans murder case," Helen Freund, May 12, 2014

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