Oklahoma Man Exonerated After 35 Years of Wrongful Conviction

After 3a years in prison, an Oklahoma man was found to be innocent of the crimes he was convicted of. Perry Lott, 61, was found guilty of r*pe and burglary in 1988.

However, DNA testing on a r*pe kit established his innocence of the crime for which he was wrongfully imprisoned, and he was released in 2018. However, former District Attorney Paul Smith claimed that the DNA testing, while substantial, did not completely exonerate him.

On Tuesday, after a lengthy legal battle, an Ada, Oklahoma court permanently proclaimed him innocent and closed his case. Lott had spent a significant amount of his life behind prison, and was now showing signs of old age and the need for a cane. According to the Daily Mail, he maintained his steadfast hope that the truth will finally come to light throughout his fight.

Lott was spotted leaving the courts on Tuesday with a big smile on his face. He went out into the sunlight, escorted by his daughter Candace Brown and his fiancée at the time of his incarceration, Antoinette Brown.

Even after three decades of wrongful conviction, Lott said he had never lost hope or confidence that the day of his exoneration would come. He went on to say that the decision has given him the courage to conclude this chapter of his life and move on.

His release in 2018 was part of a deal that permitted him to leave prison while legal debates over the DNA evidence and its implications for his r*pe conviction continued.

Former District Attorney Smith initially disagreed with Lott’s exoneration based on DNA evidence. However, the current District Attorney, Erik Johnson, reevaluated the case and agreed that Lott’s conviction should be overturned. The Innocence Project, which lobbied Johnson on Lott’s behalf, had an impact on the decision.

Adnan Sultan, Senior Staff Attorney at The Innocence Project, underlined that all evidence strongly supported Lott’s innocence but that he had been wrongfully denied justice. He thanked District Attorney Johnson for his dedication to resolving this miscarriage of justice.

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