Anthony Caravella walked out of a Florida courthouse yesterday a free man for the first time in 25 years. New DNA testing of crime scene evidence that suggests someone else committed the murder and rape for which Caravella was convicted in 1983, when he was just 15 years old. He allegedly confessed to committing the crime, but has since said he only made admissions after police beat and coerced him.
A judge ordered Caravella be released while prosecutors consider whether to retry him for the crime. No date has been set for his next hearing, and in the meantime he is required to wear a GPS monitoring bracelet and report to officers daily.
Caravella was joined by his brother and sister at his exoneration, and asked to visit the memorial plaque for his mother, who died while he was in prison.
"I believe the world's big enough to start over,'' Caravella said.
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. (Sun Sentinel, 09/10/09)
About one-quarter of the 242 people exonerated through DNA testing in U.S. gave a false confession or admission.
Read about false confessions and the five other leading causes of wrongful conviction