Murder charges were dropped Friday in Wisconsin against Ralph Armstrong, who has been in prison for nearly three decades for a murder he has always said he didn't commit. The Innocence Project has worked on Armstrong's case since 1993, one year after the organization was founded. Armstrong's conviction was thrown out in 2005 by the Wisconsin Supreme Court, but he had remained in custody for four years awaiting retrial. The state has 20 days to decide whether to appeal Friday's ruling, and Armstrong will remain in custody in the meantime.
Armstrong's lead attorney, Jerome Buting, told WKOWTV that Armstrong is "really pleased" with the decision. Buting expressed dismay, however, at how long it has taken for courts to recognize Armstrong's claims of innocence. In dismissing the indictment on Friday, Judge Robert Kinney said prosecutors should have told defense attorneys that Armstrong's brother had allegedly confessed to committing the crime.
"A confession to murder by a person we know was present with the victim the night she died, to suppress that kind of evidence is really outrageous and shocking," Buting said.
Here's is a sample of some media coverage of the case over the weekend:
Wisconsin State Journal:
Nearly 30 Years Later, Murder Cases Dismissed
29-year-old Murder Charges Dropped