BREAKING: Philly jury: #AnthonyWright NOT GUILTY of '93 murder in retrial after 25 yrs in prison. DNA pvd' innocence pic.twitter.com/mtu7WaWQ3B
— Innocence Project (@innocence) August 23, 2016
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: A wrongly convicted Philadelphia man walked free Tuesday night after 25 years behind bars for the rape and murder of a 77-year-old woman. Anthony Wright received a life sentence without parole in the slaying of the woman, found nude and stabbed 10 times with a kitchen knife in October 1991. Yet DNA tests from 2014 showed none of his DNA on clothing prosecutors said he wore during the murder or in the sperm found in the victim’s body. Wright became the 344th person in America exonerated by DNA evidence, according to the Innocence Project, which led his defense. The tests showed a onetime Philadelphia-area crack addict who died in prison in South Carolina had violated the victim, Louise Talley.
Wright, who was 20 at the time of the slaying of his North Philadelphia neighbor, confessed to the crime but later recanted. He said interrogating detectives had threatened him physical harm unless he signed the confession they wrote for him. “We are extremely relieved that this very long nightmare is finally over for Mr. Wright and his family,” Innocence Project co-director Peter Neufeld said in a statement. “DNA testing proved not only that Mr. Wright is absolutely innocent but also that law enforcement fabricated evidence against him. But it’s outrageous that he has been forced to endure a retrial to gain his freedom after DNA testing already proved his innocence.”
Three witnesses for the prosecution have since recanted their testimony. “The jury made a finding and the District Attorney’s Office respects their hard work,” said spokesman Cameron Kline said in a statement to the newspaper. “The District Attorney’s Office stands by its decision to retry Anthony Wright, based on the totality of the evidence. The verdict only shows that the jury did not find that his guilt was proven beyond a reasonable doubt.” MORE