Two men get released from prison 25 years after being wrongfully convicted of murder
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Featured Image Credit: proofcrimepodcast/Twitter. Georgia Innocence Project
According to a press release issued by the Georgia Innocence Project, Darrell Lee Clark and Cain Joshua Storey were freed after spending more than two decades behind bars following a re-trial based on new evidence.
“You never think something like that is going to happen to you,” Clark said.
“Never would I have thought I would spend more than half my life in prison, especially for something I didn’t do. I’m just glad the truth finally came to light after 25 years.
"I’m so thankful for the Georgia Innocence Project and Proof Podcast for what they did. Without them, I would still be in prison.”
Clark and Storey were arrested for allegedly being involved with the shooting of their 15-year-old best friend Brian Bowling.
On the night of October 18, 1996, Bowling was on the phone with his girlfriend, telling her he was playing a game of Russian Roulette with a gun the Storey had brought over.
According to Clark’s lawyers, Christina Cribbs and Meagan Hurley, Bowling accidentally shot himself in the head while playing with the gun.
Storey was then charged with involuntary manslaughter; however, police began investigating the case as a homicide.
News.com.au reported that police interviewed one witness, who claimed the two men had plotted Bowling’s death months before, citing that the 15-year-old knew too much about a theft his friends committed.
Another witness identified Clark in a line-up, alleging he had seen him running through the backyard following the incident.
Based on these two testimonies, the men were convicted of Bowling's murder.
It wasn’t until last year that the case was re-examined by Susan Simpson and Jacinda Davis on their Proof podcast.
In the series, the two hosts uncovered why police had initially charged Storey with manslaughter, before convicting the two men of murder.
During their investigation, they found police had planted evidence and coerced witnesses before giving their testimonies, as per iHeart.
Following Clark and Lee’s exoneration, Counsel Hurley revealed that misconduct is behind 50 per cent of wrongful convictions.
She added: “What we should take away from this is that unfettered power, without proper checks and balances, leaves ripe the opportunity for mistakes and misconduct. Proper oversight, coupled with educational initiatives designed to prevent and correct wrongful convictions, is key.”
Hurley continued: “The Bowling family suffered a great loss when Brian died. Their strength, open minds, willingness to question information that has been presented as ‘fact,’ and quest for the truth is inspiring.”