News 08.19.09

Innocence Project Statement on Decision Dismissing Murder Charges Against Ralph Armstrong After 29 Years

Contact: Eric Ferrero; eferrero@innocenceproject.org; 212-364-5346

(MADISON, WI; August 19, 2009) – Prosecutors announced today that they will not appeal a ruling that dismissed murder charges against Ralph Armstrong, which means he is now fully cleared in the case. Armstrong is expected to be transferred to New Mexico, where he was on parole when he was arrested for the 1980 Wisconsin murder that he didn’t commit. Following is a statement issued today from Ezekiel Edwards, Staff Attorney at the Innocence Project:

“The District Attorney’s office wisely chose not to appeal this case, but its claims that prosecutors acted ‘honorably’ and ‘in good faith’ at every stage are plainly untrue. This is one of the worst cases of prosecutorial misconduct that we’ve seen. The prosecution hid evidence of Ralph Armstrong’s innocence for years and actively tried to sabotage his efforts to prove he didn’t commit this crime. Even after the state Supreme Court threw out Ralph Armstrong’s conviction based on evidence of his innocence, the prosecutor continued to hide yet more evidence of his innocence. Ralph Armstrong’s 30-year-long nightmare is much closer to finally ending. We will work with other attorneys to resolve any outstanding legal issues in New Mexico. We hope and believe that New Mexico officials will release Ralph Armstrong promptly, given that he has served the last 29 years of his life in prison for a crime he did not commit.”

The Innocence Project, which is affiliated with Cardozo School of Law, got involved in Armstrong’s case in 1993 and has worked on the case ever since with Wisconsin attorneys Jerome Buting and Keith Belzer.

More information on the case is available here

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