Thursday, August 14, 2008

26 Years = Zero

William Swift was released from a Michigan prison in May after serving 26 years for a crime he did not commit. The Innocence Project took Mr. Swift's case ten years ago. While DNA testing was not possible due to lost evidence, the Innocence Project was able to uncover substantial evidence that Mr. Swift did not commit the crime for which he was convicted and his conviction was vacated.

Mr. Swift was convicted, in part, on a faulty photo line-up: the victim of a 1982 Detroit rape picked eight men from hundreds of photos, saying the eight looked like the attacker...Mr. Swift’s photo was the eighth one she chose. He was the only one brought to the station for a line-up and the victim was told that the lineup would include the eighth man she picked. She later identified Mr. Swift as her perpetrator. The officer's concerns about the line-up were met with the officer's transfer off the case.

NPR recently conducted an interview with Mr. Swift addressing how he has gone about picking up the pieces since his wrongful conviction including the lack of resources or compensation available to a man who has wrongfully lost his liberty. 

Listen to NPR Story here.

Full Innocence Project Articles here.

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