June 5, 2014

Man spent 11 years in prison for rape he didn't commit

6-5-2014 Tennessee:

NASHVILLE — Randall Mills didn't rape that 12-year-old girl in March 1999.

It's a truth he bore for 11 years and three months in a Tennessee prison cell. Few believed him until DNA evidence in 2008 proved he didn't sexually assault a preteen neighbor. Three more years passed before he was released from prison — and even then he still faced being tried on the charges all over again.

But April 4, in light of the DNA evidence and a wavering victim, prosecutors in Marshall County finally dropped all charges.

"You're kidding me, man," Mills recalled saying when he got the news. But he never had stopped trying to clear his name.

"We kept on it," he said last week. "I wasn't about to give up on anything until I proved my innocence on it."

Mills' case is one of a growing number of exonerations across the nation. The dismissal came within days of a study published in the National Academy of Sciences estimating that 1 in 25 convicts on death row are actually innocent. It all adds to a growing acknowledgment from both authorities and the public that the criminal justice system doesn't always get it right — and that the consequences can be grave. ..Continued.. by Brian Haas, The Tennessean

No comments: