Sentenced to 4 hundred years in theft case, Florida man exonerated after 34 years behind bars

A Florida man who spent the previous 34 years behind bars walked out of court docket in Fort Lauderdale a free man on Monday after he was exonerated.

Sidney Holmes, fifty seven, was sentenced to 4 hundred years in jail in 1988 following an armed theft inside the state’s Broward County. He was launched this week after the state’s Conviction overview Unit (CRU), collectively with the Innocence mission of Florida, reinvestigated his conviction.

in line with a launch from Broward State legal professional Harold F. Pryor, Holmes was arrested on Oct. 6, 1988, convicted after a jury trial in April 1989 and sentenced the following month. He was convicted of being the driving power for two unidentified males who robbed a particular person and woman at gunpoint outdoors a comfort retailer. the two unidentified males stole the male sufferer’s car.

Holmes contacted the CRU again in November 2020 claiming he was innocent of the crime, prompting the overview of this case.

“there might even be no proof tying Mr. Holmes to the theft completely different than a flawed identification,” Arielle Demby Berger, the assistant state legal professional in cost of the CRU, informed reporters on Monday, in line with the Miami Herald.

The identification of Holmes was probably a misidentification partly as a end result of of picture and dwell lineup practices generally utilized by regulation enforcement on the time, in line with the CRU’s findings.

Pryor, the CRU and an impartial overview panel every independently concluded that the information they reviewed supplied a “low-cost doubt” as to Holmes’s guilt, and that the State legal professional’s office wouldn’t cost him as we converse based mostly on these info. 

Circuit court docket decide Edward Merrigan signed a launch order for Holmes on Monday.

“i am unable to place it into phrases,” Holmes informed ABC affiliate WPLG following his launch. “it is overwhelming.”


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