Florida Man Free Of Prison After Serving 32 Years On Wrongful Murder Conviction

A wrongly charged Florida man, who spent greater than 30 years in jail inside a 1990 murder situation involving mistaken identity, was launched now, officials stated.

Thomas Raynard James, 55, was released on Wednesday, based on online condition prison records acquired by 

James maintained his innocence for many years despite being charged within the 1990 home invasion murder of murder of Francis McKinnon.

The Florida man have been charged in McKinnon’s murder largely as a result of situation of mistaken identity, officials noted an eyewitness, investigators later learned, had wrongly connected him towards the killing. James had been found guilty on additional charges, including armed robbery and irritated assault having a gun and armed burglary of the occupied dwelling having a gun.

He was subsequently sentenced to existence imprisonment and started serving his sentence on March 6, 1991, records show. He was 23 at that time.

“We have determined that Thomas Raynard James is really innocent,” Assistant Condition Attorney Christine Zahralban stated in the court on Wednesday, based on the Miami Herald.

Judge Miguel M en O vacated James’ sentence now. A number of his family people, including his mother, were present, CNN reported.

“This is a lengthy time coming,” James told local media following a judge’s ruling vacating his sentence, per CNN.

“Now, allow me to go enjoy existence,” he added before departing the courthouse.

James’ exoneration uses prosecutors had formerly combed through 20,000 pages of records, conducted several new witness interviews and re-tested DNA samples.

“We as prosecutors should do all we are able to to make sure that mistakes don’t happen, so when they are doing happen, we must correct individuals mistakes,” Katherine Fernandez Rundle, the Condition Attorney for that eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida in Miami-Dade County also stated on Twitter. “None people within our office fear the reality since the truth shall set you free… that is what we should do now.”

The 55-year-old, overjoyed at his first taste of freedom in additional than 30 years, stated in interviews with local reporters following his release he was centered on renewing relationships with family and buddies.

“I automobile as much as my mother’s voice, and she or he was really speaking in my experience, she wasn’t saying wake up or escape or free like this,” James told Miami television station WPLG.  

The 55-year-old also divulged he was savoring the straightforward moments while modifying to his newly found freedom. 

“I did get us a Popeyes sandwich, therefore we good with that,” James added.

James’ family have generate a GoFundMe page on Thursday to financially assist his transition back to society. The fundraising event has presently tallied approximately $1,000 by Friday mid-day.

James’ release, however, has re-opened up fresh wounds for McKinnon’s family, who also attended Wednesday’s court. 

“My problem is not about retrying this situation, sturdy justice in my father’s situation,” Samuel McKinnon, McKinnon’s boy stated, the Connected Press reported. “Now you’re saying we lost 3 decades of potential analysis with solving this.”

For a long time, the slain man’s two sons have been convinced James was behind their father’s killing.

“Mr. James, I shouldn’t help you in prison if you are innocent,” Charles McKinnon, Francis McKinnon’s other boy, also told a legal court on Wednesday, based on CNN. 

Francis McKinnon would be a decorated war veteran, his family stated. 

“He was my hero,” Samuel McKinnon added. “My example. I remember fondly the nights the phone call. I traveled completely to Baptist to discover my father’s been murdered. That affects anybody,” stated Samuel McKinnon.

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Written by Stephanie Green

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