SHARED: Latest exoneration out of Houston based on false eyewitness ID

Shared by Tim

If you’re not reading “Grits For Breakfast” you should be. The state of Prisons in this nation is appalling. I’m still just blown away by this story. A guy in a courthouse for unrelated reasons is accused of rape and serves 19 years? Insane!

Allen Porter walked free an innocent man in Houston yesterday after DNA and fingerprint evidence convinced Harris County DA Pat Lykos to reopen the case after 19 years. Allan Turner at the Houston Chronicle described the emotional scene in court:

Dabbing at her teary eyes, state District Judge Joan Campbell said Thursday she will recommend that authorities free a Houston man who has served 19 years — almost half his life – in prison for a sexual assault he did not commit.

As members of his family jumped from their seats in tearful ecstasy at the judge’s decision, the prisoner, Allen Wayne Porter, 39, first shed tears, then smiled broadly.

Campbell advised lawyers to return to her court today to explore ways Porter can be released on bond pending a final decision in the case by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.

“Good news!” said Porter’s court-appointed lawyer, Casey Garrett, at the end of the day-long hearing. “I am confident the CCA will agree with Judge Campbell. … It is really hard to wrap your mind around the fact that someone spent 20 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit.”

This morning Campbell set Porter’s bond at $30,000. His lawyer said Porter could be released later today.

If the court accepts her recommendation, it will order a new trial. Bob Loper, the special prosecutor, said today that he would move to dismiss the case, so he would not be retried.

According to the Chronicle, “Porter was arrested at the courthouse while attending [his nephew’s] trial with other family members after one of the rape victims identified him as her attacker.” Can you imagine! I wish Mr. Porter luck: Congrats to him and to everybody involved on this belated victory.