Cedric Dent freed after conviction vacated in deadly 1997 taking pictures in New Orleans

A person convicted and imprisoned for greater than 20 years for the 1997 taking pictures loss of life of one other man in New Orleans was freed Monday after prosecutors agreed that his conviction must be vacated.

Court docket information present a movement to vacate the conviction of Cedric L. Dent, 47, within the taking pictures loss of life of Anthony Milton was granted by a choose Monday and the district legal professional’s workplace agreed to not proceed prosecuting the case.

The taking pictures occurred exterior a New Orleans grocery store, court docket information present.

The Innocence Undertaking New Orleans group mentioned its investigation decided that prosecutors within the Nineties withheld paperwork that confirmed a witness to the taking pictures gave an outline that did not match Dent, and {that a} key witness’s story modified a number of occasions earlier than he testified on the trial.

The paperwork that had been withheld additionally revealed different witnesses who gave descriptions of the gunman that did not match Dent, studies CBS New Orleans affiliate WWL-TV.

“Cedric Dent is a sufferer of the failures of each system that was put in place to guard his rights as an individual accused of against the law – a police division that did the naked minimal to analyze a critical crime; attorneys that did not have the sources or the wherewithal to analyze his case; and a district legal professional’s workplace that hid proof that ought to have been turned over and would have helped Mr. Dent get the not responsible verdict he deserved at trial,” Meredith Angelson, one in all Mr. Dent’s attorneys, mentioned in an announcement launched by the group.

An announcement from District Legal professional Jason Williams’ workplace famous that Dent had been convicted by a non-unanimous jury – a verdict that might not now be accepted beneath Louisiana legislation or U.S. Supreme Court docket precedent.

“After a radical overview of Mr. Dent’s case, our workplace concluded that — like many convictions determined by non-unanimous jury – his responsible verdict stemmed from a trial that was unfair exactly as a result of one of many twelve jurors had voted to acquit and due to constitutionally ineffective help from his protection legal professional,” the assertion mentioned. “The authorized system failed Mr. Dent, and simply as considerably, failed the sufferer of this crime and his household.”

Innocence Undertaking New Orleans mentioned Dent was launched Monday from the state penitentiary.

WWL says he tearfully embraced his mom when he was freed.   

The group mentioned Dent is a nephew of one other of its shoppers, Elvis Brooks. Brooks was freed in 2019 after serving 42 years for a killing related to an armed theft. Brooks was 62 on the time of his launch. He all the time mentioned he was not concerned within the theft. After IPNO discovered proof that was withheld throughout his trial, prosecutors agreed to a deal that might free him if he pleaded responsible to the lesser crime of manslaughter. When he was launched, Brooks mentioned he pleaded to the cost to earn his freedom. 

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