A Michigan man was released from prison after spending more than 15 years behind bars in connection with the fire deaths of five children.
Juwan Deering, 50, dismissed the charges against him after police and prosecutors uncovered misconduct.
Mr Deering would not face a second trial as a judge closed the case after his conviction and life sentence.
He has always insisted that he was not responsible for the fire that killed children in Royal Oak Township in 2000.
Authorities at the time claimed that he opened fire to avenge unpaid drug debts, but no witnesses could identify him as being at home.
Prior to the 2006 trial, Mr. Deering’s favorable evidence was not shared with his defense attorney, and jurors were never told that prison informers benefited from testifying against Mr. Deering.
Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald last week dropped the case after it was reviewed by a dozen law enforcement professionals and found insufficient evidence against Mr. Deering.
Ms McDonald said the investigation between 2000 and 2006 was “completely compromised by misconduct” and that dropping the case was now “only a moral and constitutional remedy”.
Mr Deering may now be eligible for more than $700,000 from the state in compensation for years spent behind bars.
“It has been an uphill battle. … the sun couldn’t shine a brighter day,” Mr Deering said after being released.
And he praised the prosecutor for his “extraordinary” work in his case.
“I told him that it takes a lot of strength to act against the status quo,” he said.
Ms McDonald, who was elected in 2020, reviewed the case at the request of the University of Michigan Law School’s Innocence Clinic.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /