Sunday, May 10, 2020

Darrill Henry: Louisiana: Major (Welcome) Development: "Yesterday was a huge step toward clearing Darrill Henry of a murder he did not commit.," posts the Innocence Project. After spending 15 years in prison, he was finally released and reunited with his family."

BACKGROUND:  From previous post of this Blog:  (April 20, 2020): "(Darrill) Henry was convicted in 2011 in the vicious double slaying of an octogenarian seamstress and the daughter who raced to her aid at a 7th Ward home. But after his conviction, defense attorneys said newly developed DNA evidence cast doubt on the eyewitness testimony that sent him to prison for life. In March, Waldron agreed with Henry’s defense team and granted the 44-year-old a new trial. Prosecutors are appealing that decision. He also set a $400,000 bail — assuming that amount was out of Henry’s reach, since the New Orleans man said he was a pauper after years in prison. However, Henry’s supporters used an internet GoFundMe campaign to raise the fraction of the bail needed to free him from the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola while he awaits a possible second trial. Relatives and defense attorneys said the coronavirus outbreak in Louisiana’s prison system gave them added urgency. Henry had already given his possessions to other prisoners when the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office obtained an emergency order blocking his release."


RELEASE: "Breaking: After 15 years in prison, Darrill Henry was released," posted by The Innocence Project on May 8, 2020.

GIST: "Yesterday was a huge step toward clearing Darrill Henry of a murder he did not commit. After spending 15 years in prison, he was finally released and reunited with his family.

When Darrill went away, his children were just starting elementary school, and one of their most cherished memories was having their father pick them up from school. Darrill Jr., now 22 years old, made the drive to Angola to pick his dad up and finally bring him home.
In 2004, Darrill was arrested for the murders of an 89-year-old woman and her 67-year-old daughter in the 7th Ward of New Orleans, Louisiana.

He was convicted based solely on flawed eyewitness identifications provided by three neighbors after they briefly saw a stranger leaving the scene. Eyewitness misidentification is the leading contributing factor to wrongful convictions overturned by DNA.

The results of modern DNA testing performed on evidence from under the mother’s fingernails excluded Darrill as the perpetrator and led to his conviction being overturned in March. And yesterday, after five weeks of the state appealing the setting of bail, he was finally able to walk free.

When his aunt Sheryl Henry-Batist saw him, she was overwhelmed with emotion, saying, “It's been a long time coming. I just knew one day he would walk out of those gates."

Throughout the 15 years he was behind bars, Darrill remained positive, saying, “I never lost faith that this day would come.”

That day is finally here. But his fight isn’t over. Darrill still has a difficult fight ahead and his legal team will be standing by his side until his charges are dismissed."

The entire post can be read in its entirety at the link below;

PUBLISHER'S NOTE: I am monitoring this case/issue. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog for reports on developments. 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 found at: Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at: Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to:  Harold Levy: Publisher: The Charles Smith Blog;
FINAL WORD:  (Applicable to all of our wrongful conviction cases):  "Whenever there is a wrongful conviction, it exposes errors in our criminal legal system, and we hope that this case — and lessons from it — can prevent future injustices."
Lawyer Radha Natarajan:
Executive Director: New England Innocence Project;