Philadelphia Man Declared Innocent After 24 Years in Prison

Courts, News

24 years ago, Shaurn Thomas was wrongly convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison, but on Tuesday, he walked out of the State Correctional Institution in Frackville, PA an innocent man.

In 1990, Thomas was tried and convicted of the murder of Domingo Martinez, who was shot and killed while trying to cash a $25,000 check. Although Thomas’ alibi included already being at a youth correctional facility on the day of the murder, sign-in sheets from the youth facility vanished by the start of the trial, according to The Root.

Thomas, 43, is now free thanks to the help of the Pennsylvania Innocence Project and a former police officer-turned-attorney who took on his case in 2011.

“Shaurn engaged in a decades long struggle to prove his innocence,” attorney James Figorski said in a statement. “I joined him in that struggle, and many times it seemed that we would never succeed and he would remain in prison for the rest of his life.”

Thomas says prison taught him how to keep on fighting and how to look to the future rather than lament about the past.

“I don’t got no animosity towards nobody. What for? Life’s too short for that. You can’t get it back. I just move on forward. It’s a tragedy that happened to me, but I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one,” Thomas said.

(Article By Jeremiah Jones)

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