It has taken 40 long years yet Mr. James Blackmon, presently 66, has tasted opportunity. He was discharged from jail and charges against him rejected after the state regarded it legitimate to allow him another meeting.
Blamed for a 1979 demise of an understudy at St. Augustine’s grounds, Blackmon was indicted in 1988 for the homicide of Helena Payton at what is presently Saint Augustine’s University. Payton was lethally wounded in her neck in a quarters washroom in 1979. The case went cold until analysts got an unknown tip in 1983 which has now demonstrated to be erroneous.
Blackmon’s case came before the judges through the work of the North Carolina Innocence Commission, which ruled in November that there was enough evidence of Blackmon’s innocence to warrant a judicial review.
ABC News reports both sides agreed Blackmon was mentally ill with a low IQ but crucially the three-judge panel determined that he had proven that he was innocent of the murder. The judges signed a paper dismissing the conviction and ordering that Blackmon be released from prison as soon as possible.
Disheartening as Blackmon’s case has shown, sadly he is not unique as a good number of other males with African ancestry have found themselves serving long periods at various prisons in the United States for crimes that were foisted on them even when they had no idea.