Tuesday, 19 May 2009
Prosecutors dropped charges against a former Tennessee inmate who spent 22 years on death row before new evidence cast doubt on his guilt. The district attorney said DNA tests presented “a reasonable doubt” about whether the former inmate, Paul House, 48, acted alone in the murder of a woman near Knoxville in 1985. “This is the day we’ve been waiting for 24 years,” said Joyce House, his mother. “The tears have been flowing, and I’ve been dancing.” In 2006, the United States Supreme Court ruled that Mr. House was entitled to a new trial. He was released from prison in July and placed on house arrest. DNA from key evidence, including semen on the victim’s clothing and blood beneath her fingernails, does not match Mr. House. Prosecutors said in a petition that they still suspected Mr. House of murder, possibly with accomplices, but a judge accepted their request to drop the charges.
(Source : www.nytimes.com)