nzherald: Clifford Williams Jr and his nephew Hubert Nathan Myers have been released from prison, where they have been since 1976.
The two men, who were 34 and 18 at the time, were at a party in Florida when two women were shot in a nearby home. One of the women died.
The pair were quickly arrested and sentenced to life in prison after a two-day trial.
Now, 42 years later, the state of Florida has tossed the case and released the two men.
Williams and Myers shook hands and shared a long hug before walked out free on Thursday. Myers kissed the ground outside the courtroom.
“I’m nervous because I feel like I’m still locked up,” he said. “Once I get with my family and know I can look back … and the reality hits in, I think I’ll be all right.”
Despite other partygoers saying they were with the men at the time of the fatal shooting, 42 years ago, and despite there not being any other evidence or witnesses, the men were still convicted. They spent more than 4 decades claiming their innocence.
Things only began to change when the men petitioned the Conviction Integrity Review unit, created in Florida in 2017.
The unit found that another man reportedly told people he had committed the murder and felt bad that Williams and Myers were in prison for it. That man died in 1994.
The findings by the unit led to the men’s release after the state decided to throw out the case.
Williams, now 76, and Myers, 61, were now found to have been wrongfully convicted in the murder of Jeanette Williams and attempted murder of Nina Marshall.
“I lost almost 43 years of my life that I can never get back,” Myers said in a report from the state attorney.
“But I am looking ahead and will focus on enjoying my freedom with my family.”
Source: Published by nzherald