News 12.23.15

Denver Man’s Conviction Vacated after 28 Years in Prison

A Denver, Colorado, man who spent more than 28 years in prison for a crime his lawyers say he didn’t commit, took his first steps towards freedom Tuesday after a judge vacated his conviction and ordered a new trial, according to a news story in

the

Denver Post


.

Clarence Moses-EL, now 60, was convicted of a 1987 sexual assault in which a woman was brutally beaten, dragged and raped, but has always maintained his innocence.

Moses-EL voiced elation and relief as he walked out of a Denver district court yesterday following Judge Kandace Gerdes’ decision to order a new trial based on newly discovered evidence which, she explained, would allow a jury “to probably return a verdict of acquittal in favor of the Defendant.”

“I just want to get home with my family,” he told the

Denver Post

as he left the courthouse. “I’m just so glad to be home.”

Judge Gerdes’ decision appears to hinge partly on the fact that another man has confessed on numerous occasions to committing the crime for which Moses-EL was imprisoned.

The

Denver Post

remarks that those confessions, made by one LC Jackson, as well as blood tests indicating that the attacker had a different blood type than Moses-EL, were “some of the reasons Gerdes ordered a new trial.”

Meanwhile, the outlet adds, scrutiny into the victim’s original testimony reveal additional inconsistencies which may point to Moses-EL’s innocence: “In 1987, when police, her sister and a neighbor asked who had attacked her, the woman gave three possibilities,” reports the

Post

. “A couple of days later, however, she told police for the first time that Moses-EL, a neighbor, was her attacker. . . . His identity had come to her in a dream, she said,” reported the

Post

.

Moses-EL was ultimately convicted of sexual assault, assault and burglary and sentenced to 48 years in prison.  While incarcerated, a court granted him DNA testing of the collected evidence but, says the

Denver Post

, the police “mistakenly destroyed the evidence before it could be analyzed.”

In an interview with

FOX 31 Denver

, Shareef Aleem, a community activist who has been campaigning to free Moses-EL, voiced confidence that the new evidence would ultimately lead to exoneration.  “I always had faith once the facts were out in the case, justice would prevail,” he added.

Moses-EL will now await the Denver district attorney’s decision on whether or not to proceed in retrying the case.

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