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Philly Man Freed After Serving 34 Years For Wrongful Conviction

Ronald Johnson, 61, who spent 34 years behind bars, was freed on Monday after a Philadelphia judge vacated his sentence and reversed his conviction, The New York Times reports. His lawyer, Jennifer Merrigan, said that Johnson was a free man; prosecutors said they would not re-try or re-indict.

Johnson had been convicted in a 1990 murder based solely on the false testimony of two witnesses, his lawyers say. “There’s no way that they could retry him because there is absolutely no evidence against him,” said Merrigan, who described how police had hidden evidence about the same witnesses’ previous contentions that Johnson was not present. The effects of the misconduct go beyond Johnson being convicted on false charges, to the victim’s family members, who don’t know what really happened to their loved one, she said.


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