Criminal Law

Judge Vacates Convictions of Three Philadelphia-Area Men Who Were Imprisoned for Decades

Three Philadelphia-area men, each of whom spent decades in prison, had their convictions vacated in court last Thursday due to recent evidence that their DNA had been absent from the scene of the murder of an elderly woman more than 25 years ago.

Sam Grasty, Derrick Chappell and Morton Johnson have consistently claimed their innocence in the 1997 murder of Henrietta Nickens, a 70-year-old woman who was beaten to death and sexually assaulted in her Delaware County, Pennsylvania, apartment, according to Paul Casteleiro, Grasty’s attorney and legal director of the nonprofit Centurion, which worked on his behalf. The men were sentenced to life in prison and had been incarcerated for approximately 25 years, according to attorneys.

“The state didn’t answer any evidence in opposition to our DNA evidence and our crime scene reconstruction expert,” Casteleiro told ABC News. “Up until today, that hasn’t been the course that they have taken. They opposed this [evidence of their innocence] and in every way.”

Read the source article at ABC News

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