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Wrongfully Convicted Black Man Freed After 17 Years In Jail

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We’re reporting on some good news today. A Louisana man was recently released from prison Thursday, June 27th after serving more than 17 years in jail for a crime he did not commit. Royal Clark Jr.’s road to exoneration commenced after a New Orleans Innocence Project took his case and convinced the Jefferson Parish district attorney’s office to re-examine the incriminating fingerprint evidence in his case. According to reports from NOLA.com, the IPNO filed a motion to have Clark’s conviction thrown out after he was proven innocent. A Judicial District Court Judge by the name of Donald Rowan vacated the conviction after a short hearing on Thursday.

Clark walked out of Lousiana’s Angola prison exactly a day after his 42nd birthday and was greeted by his mother, father, sister, and his son. Clark was wrongfully convicted back in 2001 after eyewitness falsely identified him as the suspect in a Burger King robbery. The guilty verdict was handed down when Clark turned 25. Although Clark maintained his innocence throughout the trial and during his time in jail, it was only through the Innocence Project that he was able to acquire the justice he deserved. The organization asked the D.A. to take another look at the fingerprint found on a cup used by the suspect prior to the robbery and it led back to the DNA of Jessie Perry, a 54-year-old man serving a 30-year sentence in prison.

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