When justice is blinded by “negligence,” cases like that of John Miller, a Pennsylvanian who spent nearly 22 years in prison falsely accused of homicide and sentenced thanks to a “key witness” from the Attorney General’s office who ended up being the real killer.
This bittersweet story has ended with the recent release of the now 44-year-old man John Miller who by a perverse fate was accused by David Williams, a criminal who, in exchange for clemency in another case, told police that Miller had confessed to him that he was the perpetrator of the crime.
Based on this “material evidence,” and the 22-year-old man from Philadelphia, was convicted thanks to the account of a witness who identified him as the perpetrator of a 1996 homicide.
The sentence of life imprisonment was followed by an accessory sentence, the procedural bureaucracy, because the “executioner”, David Williams, years later gnawed by remorse, confessed that he had been the murderer and not John Miller, but it took the Attorney General’s Office more than fifteen years to exculpate the “scapegoat of a legal pact”.
The ex-convict’s lawyers reported on social networks that the man who spent nearly 22 years in prison for murder was released on Wednesday after considering the multiple confessions of the crime that for years made the main witness in the case.
Miller was convicted in 1997 for the October 1996 murder of Anthony Mullen during a robbery attempt at Philadelphia’s main railroad station. In this incident, Miller was convicted and he was sentenced to life in prison. But he always pleaded not guilty.
According to Atlanta-based national television network CNN, the witness who identified Miller as the killer, was a man named David Williams, a star witness who, in exchange for leniency in another case, told police that Miller had confessed to him that he had killed Mullen.
John Miller spent nearly half of his life behind bars after that testimony which charged him in a 1996 gunshot murder. Although the real killer acknowledged the facts years ago, the convicted man had not been able to get out until now when his case was taken to federal court.
John Miller, a tall, corpulent man, was released from Frackville prison, about 160 km northwest of Philadelphia, after prosecutors refused to retry him because there was insufficient evidence against him, according to court records cited by CNN.
“I’m very happy and excited that after 21 years I’m finally heard and my innocence is afloat,” Miller said in a statement issued by his attorneys. “I’m going home to my family. I am overwhelmed, excited and happy,” added the man, who is now 44 years old and spent half his life in prison.
“I’m very happy and excited that after 21 years I’m finally being heard and that my innocence has reached the surface,” Miller said in a written statement distributed by his attorney. “I’m going home to my family. I’m overwhelmed, excited, and happy,” added the man who is now 44 years old and spent half his life in prison.
Translated by: José Espinoza