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Witness Recants Testimony. Man Goes Free After 27 Years.

Every criminal prosecution is built on evidence and testimony. It is the job of the defense attorney to break these down and find weaknesses and inaccuracies to establish a reasonable doubt.

But what happens when a witness is coerced by the police to providing condemning testimony even if the facts are not true?

A Shocking Case

According to a recent report in, a man was released from prison after a key witness recanted her original testimony.

According to the report, the woman was just a young girl at the time of her original trial, with juvenile charges pending against her. Apparently the police used these charges as leverage, and, according to the witness, "...basically told me what to say."

Further, her eyesight was a problematic 20/200, bad enough to be considered legally blind. This fact was kept out of access to the defense at the time of the original trial.

Justice in a Mistrial

How can justice be realized in a mistrial of this kind? The accused man spent 27 years in prison - his entire young adulthood and beyond. How can there be any measure of justice now that he is finally being released?

The answer is there can't be justice in most respects. The time cannot be given back to the man and no amount of compensation can be enough to make up for those lost years.

The Best Approach

The only way to obtain justice in criminal defense matters is to get it right the first time. We don't have enough of the facts to say whether the original representation made any significant errors, but it is critical to obtainformation about basic things like the eye-witness is blind and being coerced into a confession.

If you are facing criminal charges, make sure you work with a team of attorneys who have the experience, skill and commitment to make sure justice is obtained.

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