News 10.28.09

Charges Dismissed in Texas Case

A Texas judge today dismissed murder charges against two men who served more than six years in prison for 1991 murders in Austin, Texas, they have long maintained they didn’t commit. Robert Springsteen and Michael Scott were freed on bond in June after DNA testing from the crime scene pointed to someone else. Today, prosecutors asked a judge to drop the charges against them.

The men allegedly made admissions of guilt during police interrogations, but later said they were coerced and threatened. One image from the interrogation room shows an officer

holding a gun to Scott’s head

.

Springsteen was originally sentenced to death for the crime and spent five years on Texas’ death row before his conviction was overturned in 2006. Scott was sentenced to life in 2003 and served six years behind bars before he was freed in June.

Scott, gripping his wife’s hand, was reserved outside court.

“This has been a long time in coming,” he said. “I’m happy to be here.”


Read the full story here

. (Austin American-Statesman, 10/28/09)

Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg said in a statement that dropping charges was her only path of action. “Given that we now have unknown DNA evidence in the case, I believe it would be imprudent and, in fact, unfair to proceed to trial at this time,”

she said

.

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