Convicted Murderer Declared Innocent And Released After 24 Years In Prison

A former police officer with the Philadelphia Police Department helped get the innocent man out of jail. 

A man convicted of murder was declared innocent and released from prison on Tuesday after more than two decades in a Pennsylvania prison.

Shaurn Thomas, 43, was released from the State Correctional Institution in Frackville, after being jailed for 24 years. He was imprisoned for a murder he did not commit, his attorneys said according to ABC News.

Thomas was sentenced to life in prison for the killing of Domingo Martinez, a Philadelphia businessman who was shot in 1990 while trying to cash a $25,000 check.

In an interview after his release, Thomas told ABC's Philadelphia affiliate WPVI that his imprisonment taught him to keep fighting.

"I feel wonderful, a free man. I can't feel no better," Thomas said. "Hey man, just got to believe in God, and had the right legal team, and keep fighting."

The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office stated that it agreed to vacate the conviction.

"We will continue to review this case and make a decision regarding retrial in the very near future," the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office said in a statement released on Tuesday.

Attorney James Figorski, a former police officer with the Philadelphia Police Department, took on Thomas' case in 2011 after reviewing several cases as a volunteer with the nonprofit organization Pennsylvania Innocence Project. According to ABC, the organization has helped to free and win new trials for nine people since its founding in 2009.

"Shaurn engaged in a decades’ long struggle to prove his innocence," Figorski stated. "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 seems to be keeping positive about the ordeal.

"I don't got no animosity towards nobody. What for? Life's too short for that," Thomas told WPVI. "I just move on forward. It's a tragedy that happened to me, but I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one."

[NBC Philadelphia]

 

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