A man from the United States of America that was wrongly convicted of murdering someone has been released after spending more than 23 years in jail.
Devonia Inman was greeted by his mother and step father after walking free from Augusta State Medical Prison in Georgia on December 20, 2021.
He was just 20 years old when the police arrested him for being the main suspect of Donna Brown’s death, which happened in 1998.
Donna Brown, who was 40 when she died, was a night manager at a Taco Bell.
She was shot in the face as she was leaving the restaurant with a bag of cash.
Authorities arrested Inman based on the accounts of eyewitnesses, who later admitted to lying.
Inman was sentenced to spend life in prison with no possibility of parole in 2001, despite that, he maintained his innocence throughout the case.
Nearly a decade after the incident, the GIP (Georgia Innocence Project) took up his case.
DNA testing showed that a ski mask was worn during the murder and robbery.
It also pointed out that the ski mask had the DNA of Hercules Brown on it.
At this point, Brown was already in prison for being convicted of killing 2 people in a convenience store in 2000.
GIP petitioned for a new trial, however, the case was rejected in 2014.
GIP appealed the decision again and last month, a judge ordered a new trial, which took place after prosecutors withheld critical evidence in Inman’s trial.
After being released from prison, Inman, who is now 43 years old, said:
“I spent 23 years behind bars for something I didn’t do. It took a really long time to fix, even though it was so clear I wasn’t guilty. I’m glad I get to finally go home, and I’m grateful to everyone who helped make that possible.”
Christina Cribbs, a senior attorney at Georgia Innocence Project, criticized the state of Georgia for letting it happen.
“Despite so much compelling information showing that the State convicted the wrong man, it took a massive team effort that spanned almost a decade to correct this obvious injustice and free an innocent man from prison. While we are grateful Devonia Inman is free and that District Attorney Studstill acted so quickly to exonerate Devonia after Georgia’s Attorney General stopped defending the conviction, it simply cannot and should not take so long for the State to correct wrongful and unjust convictions in Georgia.”
Inman currently plans to rejoin his family in California and begin a journey of “readjusting and healing”.
Right now, Georgia is one of the only 13 states in America that does not have a statutory compensation law to provide financial relief for years lost to wrongful conviction.