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C.J. Rice Freed From Prison After Spending Over A Dozen Years In Jail 

C.J. Rice, a man convicted of a 2011 shooting in #Philadelphia, has been declared legally innocent and freed after more than 12 years in prison. The Commonwealth of #Pennsylvania dropped all charges against him following a motion from District Attorney Larry Krasner. Rice's defense counsel successfully petitioned for his release, aiming to have his criminal record expunged. 

"For me personally, I'm glad to see this wrong righted," Rice told #CNN. "Can't call it a mistake. Because the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's judicial system had at least five separate times to correct this specific situation, and chose not to act in the interest of justice. Either the court did not review the case as the public trust endowed the court the ability to do so, or the Pennsylvania Courts did review the case and chose to allow a clear injustice to stand for as long as no one else knew what was going on. For that, the Pennsylvania Court system is blameworthy and not worthy of any confidence. Nonetheless, my comment to any DA, state, prosecutor, commonwealth who has an innocent person behind bars, let them free!"

Rice maintained his innocence throughout, highlighting flaws in the judicial system, including ineffective counsel and a lack of evidence tying him to the crime. Key to his exoneration was the revelation that crucial phone records supporting his alibi were never pursued by his attorney. The case also shed light on systemic issues such as unreliable eyewitness testimony and inadequate police investigations. Rice's release marks a rare victory against wrongful convictions, with legal experts and advocates emphasizing the need for changes to address such injustices. 

We echo Rice's sentiments in holding the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's courts accountable for their failure to deliver justice. Rice's exoneration exposes systemic issues, from ineffective legal representation to the disregard for crucial evidence, which perpetuate wrongful convictions and deprive individuals of their freedom.

Link: CNN


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