Davontae Sanford Released After Nine Years in Prison

06.09.16 By Innocence Staff

Davontae Sanford Released After Nine Years in Prison

Davontae Sanford, who was convicted nearly a decade ago for a quadruple homicide he maintains he did not commit, was released on Wednesday after a judge vacated his conviction.

Sanford was only 14 when he was arrested while standing outside his home in his pajamas a few blocks from the crime scene. After two days of interrogation without a parent or guardian present, Sanford confessed to the crime. At the advice of his attorney, Sanford pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 37 to 90 years in prison, reports Business Insider. Weeks later, another man confessed to the shooting, but Sanford remained in prison.

The State Appellate Defender Office eventually learned of the confession and spent years attempting to withdraw Sanford’s plea to no avail. The Michigan Innocence Clinic and the Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth took on the case in 2014, spurring the Michigan State Police to reopen the investigation into the murders.

On Tuesday, Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Brian Sullivan ordered Sanford released and his conviction vacated. Sanford, now 23, was reunited with his mother, brother and sister outside the courtroom.

88 percent of youth arrested were black

Read the Business Insider coverage here.

View photos from Sanford’s release here.

Related: In Davontae Sanford Case, Evidence of Innocence is Repeatedly Ignored

Leave a Reply

Thank you for visiting us. You can learn more about how we consider cases here. Please avoid sharing any personal information in the comments below and join us in making this a hate-speech free and safe space for everyone.

This field is required.
This field is required.
This field is required.

Taliyah May 17, 2017 at 5:37 pm Reply   

I truly agree that they should pass a law like that.

Mic May 9, 2017 at 2:45 am Reply   

False confessions are NOT justice for victims, America needs to finally pass a law that ANY child under 18yrs must have an attorney present while being questioned by interrogators. Come on America

See More

We've helped free more than 240 innocent people from prison. Support our work to strengthen and advance the innocence movement.