After 21 years, a man was released from prison after being cleared of a murder he never committed – more than 10 years after another man began confessing the murder for the purpose of to release from one’s own conscience.
John Miller, 44, was found innocent on July 1 and left Wednesday’s state prison about 100 miles northwest of Philadelphia, CNN reported.
“I am very happy and excited that after 21 years, I am finally heard and my innocence has reached the surface,” said Miller in a statement obtained by CNN via his lawyer. “I’m going home to my family. I am upset, excited and happy. ”
The murderer, David Williams, had begun to suffer from a crisis of conscience even before Miller’s first audition when he was arrested for the 1996 crime and had declared his own guilt for more than 10 years.
Williams first told the police that Miller shot Anthony Mullen in 1997 during a theft attempt. He exchanged this false testimony for leniency in another case, CNN reported, telling the authorities that Miller had told him he had done so. Although he continued to revert to his initial statement at the hearing and trial a year later, a jury found Miller guilty.
In 2002, Williams even wrote to Miller’s mother asking him to apologize and say that he had shot Mullen, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer, citing court documents.
“I can not live with that on my conscience,” Williams wrote, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. “Your son had no knowledge of this crime. He was not even there.
Miller, for one, had always maintained his innocence. Yet Miller’s and Williams’ protests have been ignored for years, the courts having dismissed Miller’s appeal for procedural reasons, and claiming that Williams lacked credibility to be credible in changing its history.
Hard-working lawyers, volunteering with the Pennsylvania Innocence Project, eventually appealed to a federal court, which was then transferred to the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office. This office then forwarded it to the Integrity Conviction Unit. After a review of several months, the Integrity Conviction Unit ruled that there was not enough evidence to keep Miller in jail.