In the fall of 1994, a man was shot dead in Southeast DC.
No weapon or physical evidence linking any shooters to the scene was ever recovered. Mr. A. and Mr. R. were arrested for the shooting, convicted based solely on eyewitness testimony, and are currently serving life in prison. Several irregularities at the trial cast doubt on the verdict's accuracy, and Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project’s investigation uncovered witness payments, plea deals, and extraordinary police pressure on witnesses to implicate Mr. A. and Mr. R.
Additionally, the key eyewitness who testified at trial that he saw Mr. A. and Mr. R. has now admitted that he never saw the shooters and lied because of government pressure — a common theme in the cases that MAIP investigates. They also have sworn statements from multiple witnesses who said the crime was committed by another man who later confessed to the crime.
In early 2020, Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project filed an Innocence Protection Act motion with co-counsel in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, asking the court to vacate the conviction or grant a new trial based on new evidence. The government has not yet responded to the motion, but MAIP is hopeful that it will respond and that Mr. R. will receive a hearing where the evidence clearing his name can be heard.
MAIP’s commitment to achieving justice for the wrongfully convicted is critical to creating a more equitable and fair justice system in the District. If you would like to learn more about the DC Bar Foundation and our other grantees, please visit our website.