Eric Kelley and Ralph Lee Walk Out of Prison After 24-Year Fight for Freedom

11.08.17 By Innocence Staff

Paul Casteleiro of Centurion, Ralph Lee, Eric Kelley, and Vanessa Potkin.

Paul Casteleiro of Centurion, Ralph Lee, Eric Kelley, and Vanessa Potkin.

Update: April 6, 2018: Kelley and Lee were exonerated after The State of New Jersey dropped the murder charges. 

Today, Innocence Project client Eric Kelley and Centurion client Ralph Lee walked out of a New Jersey prison, experiencing freedom for the first time in more than 20 years. Back in September, a New Jersey Court vacated their convictions for a 1993 felony murder and robbery based on DNA evidence identifying another suspect. After the court set a bail that the two men could make, the prosecution appealed their release. Today the New Jersey Supreme Court rejected the prosecution’s arguments, paving the way for the men to post the bail. The prosecution also appealed the court’s order vacating their convictions, but now they will be free while the appeal proceeds through the courts. You can read more about their case here.

The Kelley family has setup a fundraising page for Eric as he transitions home for those wishing to contribute.

Watch them walk out of prison live on Facebook.

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Venita Jefferson November 8, 2018 at 11:22 pm Reply   

It’s amazing to me how the prosecution knows they are wrong but will not give in to the facts.

Christopher Scott November 17, 2017 at 2:49 am Reply   

What happens to the prosecution, knowing they had DNA evidence to prove the innocence of the men, are they in anyway held culpable? I always cannot believe that the prosecution can get away with this kind of thing. Are there any laws being taken into consideration that would charge the prosecution when they know that they are putting away an innocent person.

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