After Nearly 25 Years Behind Bars, Wrongfully Convicted Man Free

A man wrongfully imprisoned for nearly 25 years has been set free after buried evidence showing he was over 1,000 miles from the crime was unearthed.

Jonathan Fleming, who is black, was convicted of a 1989 Brooklyn murder, a crime he attested he couldn’t have committed because he was at Disney World.

There was evidence to support Fleming’s claim, but it was never turned over to the defense.

Joaquin Sapien writes at ProPublica:

That the evidence wasn’t turned over to authorities “could not have possibly been a mistake,” said Taylor Koss, one of Fleming’s lawyers.

“I’m finally a free man,” said Fleming.

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As for his plans now, Fleming said, “I’m going to have dinner with my mother and my family and I’m going to live the rest of my life.”

“Though times have changed, and racial biases are no longer as overt as they were in the Scottsboro Boys days,” writes Edwin Grimsley, a Case Analyst with the Innocence Project, “the criminal justice system is still marked by racial injustice and the discrimination still manifests itself in similar ways—through racial profiling, police misconduct, indigent defense, jury selection and more. Wrongful conviction cases reveal these biases well— both in individual cases and systemically.”