News 02.02.09

Suspect in Georgia Exoneration Case Will Not Be Tried

Willie “Pete” Williams was cleared nearly two years ago in Georgia after serving more than 21 years in prison for a rape he didn’t commit. When Williams – a client of the

Georgia Innocence Project

– was freed, prosecutors said the DNA profile that proved Williams’ innocence also pointed to another man – Kenneth Wicker – as the perpetrator of the rape. Wicker pled guilty to similar attacks around the time of the rape for which Williams was convicted. But now he’s free and will not be tried for the crime, after prosecutors decided to drop charges against him.

The victim in the case refuses to testify again – and still believes Williams is guilty – and prosecutors say they are unable to move forward without her identification of Wicker.

Another prosecutor interviewed by the Atlanta Journal Constitution disagrees, saying jurors will understand that eyewitness misidentifications are common and that know how to weigh an unreliable identification against strong scientific evidence.

Innocence Project Co-Director Barry Scheck said the prosecutor should act on such strong evidence.

“He thinks he’s letting a serial rapist go? That’s outrageous,” Scheck said. “Tell that to the next victim.”


Read the full story here

. (Atlanta Journal Constitution, 02/01/09)

 

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