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Post-conviction matters: DNA shows innocence after 20 years

With the rapid advance of DNA technology, wrongly convicted people in Michigan and other states have the hope of finally convincing the courts of their innocence. However, such battles are best fought with the advocacy of an attorney with skills and experience in dealing with post-conviction matters. The recent exoneration of an accused killer underscores the fact that such a battle could be won and is certainly worth fighting.

A 60-year-old man was serving a sentence of 15 years to life for the 1998 killing of the woman with whom he had an affair. Reportedly, she was in the process of divorce and living sometimes with her lover and other times at the home of her husband. She frequently used the accused man's truck, which was found not far from her body. Unfortunately, the man was not truthful in court about his affair and her use of the truck, and his lies caused the jury to find him guilty.

Despite several denied appeals, the man continued his fight to prove his innocence, and after additional DNA tests were done on the deceased victim's clothes and some objects found at the crime scene, the real killer was identified. The DNA profile that was identified matched that of a nephew of the victim's former husband, both of whom have since been arrested. Records reportedly indicated the prior conviction of the nephew for raping the daughter of his uncle's girlfriend.

Days before the arrests of the two men, the wrongly convicted man was released from jail. He might be eligible to receive around $1 million -- $140 for each day he spent in prison -- from the state in which he served time. Anyone in Michigan who has been wrongfully convicted, or has a loved one in such a situation serving a sentence can seek the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney. A lawyer who deals with post-conviction matters can make use of the latest technological advances in the pursuit of exoneration or another favorable outcome.

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