After 35 years in prison, an American man accused of breaking into a home and sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl in southwest Michigan was acquitted, after authorities concluded that he was wrongly convicted.
On Thursday, a judge overturned Lewis Wright’s 1988 conviction at the request of the Calhoun County prosecutor and the district attorney’s office.
The Attorney General’s Office said, “The new DNA test ruled out Wright as the aggressor.”
The Cooley Law School Innocence Project, which represents Wright, added that a false confession and a plea deal with no opportunity to challenge it were behind Wright’s imprisonment for decades.
In 1988, police investigating the assault of a child in Albion, 160 kilometers west of Detroit, identified Wright as the accused after an off-duty policeman said he had been seen in the neighborhood.
Police said at the time that Wright confessed, although the interview was not recorded and he did not sign a confession, according to the Innocence Project.
The project explained that “the victim was never asked to identify anyone in or out of court.”
Wright, now 65, pleaded guilty without opportunity to contest the charges and was sentenced to 25 to 50 years in prison.
Ultimately, he sought to withdraw the declaration, but his request was rejected.
“There is no justice without truth,” he added. This applies to everyone.
Wright may be eligible for $1.75 million in compensation under a state law that awards $50,000 for each year spent in prison with a conviction overturned based on new evidence.