Criminal Law

Man Serving a Life Sentence for Murder Used COVID-19 Relief Funds to Prove His Innocence

Ricky Dority spends most of his days playing with his grandchildren, feeding chickens and working in the yard where he lives with his son’s family.

It’s a jarring change from where he was just several months ago, locked in a cell serving a life prison sentence at Oklahoma’s Joseph Harp Correctional Center in a killing he said he didn’t commit. After more than two decades behind bars, Dority had no chance at being released — until he used his pandemic relief funds to hire a dogged private investigator.

The investigator and students at the Oklahoma Innocence Project at Oklahoma City University, which is dedicated to exonerating wrongful convictions in the state, found inconsistencies in the state’s account of a 1997 cold-case killing, and Dority’s conviction was vacated in June by a Sequoyah County judge.

Read the source article at NBC News

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