MICHAEL ANTHONY GREEN; TEXAS; RELEASED ON PERSONAL BOND AFTER 27 YEARS BEHIND BARS; AWAITS FINAL HEARING BEFORE APPEAL COURT;
"HOUSTON - A man who's spent the last 27 years imprisoned for a rape he didn't commit got one step closer to freedom on Friday.
During a court hearing, a judge granted Michael Anthony Green a personal bond that will let him walk out of jail.
Green's pending release was made possible after the Harris County District Attorney's Office reopened his case and new DNA tests it commissioned showed he did not commit a 1983 rape of a woman who had been abducted.
BACKGROUND; Green was sentenced to 75 years in prison for the 1983 rape of a Houston woman based on faulty eyewitness identification. According to court records, a woman talking on a pay phone with her husband was abducted at gunpoint by two men at a Greenspoint-area gas station after midnight on April 18, 1983. They forced her in to a car with two other men. The men drove the victim to a secluded area where three of the men sexually assaulted her. The fourth man did not participate. He was to be released from prison in July, 2010, after DNA tests were finally conducted on exhibits in the District Court office all these years.
HOUSTON - A man who's spent the last 27 years imprisoned for a rape he didn't commit got one step closer to freedom on Friday," the Associated Press story by reporter Juan A. Lozano oublished on July 30, 2010 begins, under the heading, "Judge grants bond for US man exonerated for rape." "During a court hearing, a judge granted Michael Anthony Green a personal bond that will let him walk out of jail," the story continues.
"Green's pending release was made possible after the Harris County District Attorney's Office reopened his case and new DNA tests it commissioned showed he did not commit a 1983 rape of a woman who had been abducted.
Green was expected to be released later Friday after his paperwork had been processed. The bond will allow Green to be free while the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals makes a final ruling on his innocence.
His family members said they were grateful they would soon be reunited with their loved one.
"He can come home and live like a regular man, like a free man," said Adrian Taylor, Green's older brother.
Taylor said he wasn't angry that his brother was imprisoned for nearly three decades for a crime he didn't commit.
"It's a kind of disappointment in some ways. It should have been handled sooner than 27 years," he said.
His bond hearing and release had been set for Thursday but were delayed by a day after the reality of his impending freedom proved to be too much for Green.
On Thursday, before he was brought in front of visiting state District Judge Mike Wilkinson, Green became too emotional and angry while waiting in a holding cell. On the day he was to be freed for a crime he didn't commit, Green became upset that he was put in handcuffs and leg restraints one final time as he was taken from the county jail to the courthouse, said Bob Wicoff, his attorney.
Wicoff, as well as prosecutors and Wilkinson decided to let Green remain jailed one more day so he could compose himself. Green was calm during Friday's court hearing, saying very little.
Wicoff said Green was justified in his anger as his life had been taken away. Green entered prison an 18 year old and was set to leave as a 44-year-old man.
"He forgives the victim. I don't know if he'll be able to forgive the police. I don't think they should be forgiven. It shouldn't have happened," said Wicoff, who blames bad police work with leading to Green's conviction."
PUBLISHER'S NOTE: The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be accessed at:
My interest in forensic pathology began with my Toronto Star investigative reporting into once famed since disgraced former doctor Charles Smith. I began this Blog after retiring from the Star in 2006 in order to follow the aftermath into the independent Goudge inquiry into many of Smith's cases. I have now begun to focus on cases involving flawed forensic science no matter where they occur (the recent Amanda Knox prosecution in Italy, for example) and am fascinated by the interest in the Blog from people in countries throughout the world. In another development, my interest in "junk science" "pseudo-experts" and the miscarriages of justice they all too often cause has drawn me deeply into the on-going U.S. death penalty debate where so many troubling cases involve issues relating to DNA and other developments in the world of forensic science. For all of this I rely on my experience as a reporter at the Toronto Star, my work as a lawyer in Ontario's criminal courts, and my abhorrence of injustice. Please send cases and developments which may be of interest to this Blog to firstname.lastname@example.org. Read on! Harold Levy.