Law Offices of Jess C. Bedore III - Certified Specialist in Criminal Law
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Misidentified man released after 20 years

A man in California was misidentified in an armed robbery and spent almost half of his life behind bars. He's 41 years old now, and he was locked up for 20 years. He was finally cleared and released this month.

The original conviction happened back in 1997, when he was charged with robbery and attempted murder. A gas station was robbed in Compton, leaving one man with a serious gunshot wound, and an eyewitness wrongfully claimed that he'd pulled the trigger.

The man said he hadn't done anything wrong in 1997, even as his sentence was handed down, but he was stuck in jail until this year. In 2014, a group called Project for the Innocent started to dig into the case. Eventually, that sparked a review by both the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and the District Attorney's Office.

Not only was the man cleared and released, but the investigation found three other men who were then charged in connection with the crime.

The man said that he was not angry. He noted that he was grateful for all of the people who had taken up the cause and helped get him out. He even thanked the DA for the role it played. After it all, he said he was really happy that he was finally going to get another home-cooked meal.

As this case shows, mistakes in court can have a huge impact on a person's life. Those who have been accused of gun crimes and related offenses absolutely need to know what legal rights they have. Everyone has a right to a fair trial.

Source: NBC, "Man Who Served 20 Years for Crime He Didn't Commit Set Free," Jason Kandel and Lolita Lopez, March 28, 2017

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