BALTIMORE, Md. (WJZ) — A Baltimore man was freed Wednesday after spending almost 17 years in jail for a homicide he didn’t commit, Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby stated.
David Morris was sentenced to life in jail with all however 50 years suspended after he was convicted within the 2004 homicide of Mustafa Carter. In 2018, the State’s Attorney’s Conviction Integrity Unit took a more in-depth have a look at the case in response to considerations from the Innocence Project. The CIU’s assessment discovered exculpatory proof was found earlier than Morris’ trial however by no means disclosed.
In an announcement, Mosby stated Morris’ case is an instance of the “deeply damaging nature of the historical failures of the criminal justice system” and her company’s obligation to proper earlier wrongs.
“On behalf of the State, let me extend my sincerest apologies to Mr. Morris and his family for the unspeakable trauma inflicted upon him as a result of this wrongful conviction,” Mosby stated. “To the family of Mr. Carter, we will continue to use everything our arsenal to find your son’s killers.”
According to the State’s Attorney’s Office, investigators recognized one other suspect within the case, however that data wasn’t offered to Morris’ protection. Several different components – together with DNA proof taken from Carter’s pants that may have dominated out Morris as a suspect and contradictory data from the only witness – indicated “Morris was not involved,” the company stated partially.
Besides the proof, the CIU assessment decided the arresting officer had been accused of misconduct, which Mosby’s workplace stated ought to have been disclosed to Morris’ protection attorneys. The officer, Michael Nelson, was amongst these revealed in Mosby’s “Do Not Call” record of officers with credibility points.
Michele Nethercott, an lawyer for the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project and the previous director of the University of Baltimore Innocence Project Clinic, stated the group was gratified with the result.
“The evidence at (Morris’) trial was incredibly weak and our post-conviction investigation unearthed even more evidence supporting his longstanding claim of innocence,” Nethercott stated. “We’re grateful to Mr. Carter’s family for assisting in the investigation despite the pain it must have caused.”
In 2015, Mosby overhauled the CIU, Maryland’s first such unit, tasking prosecutors with trying into claims of precise innocence and wrongful convictions. Since then, the CIU has exonerated a complete of 11 people who served a mixed 280 years behind bars for crimes they didn’t commit.