After 17 long years in jail for a crime he did not commit, a man is finally enjoying his freedom.
In 2004, when David Morris was just 18, he was arrested following the murder of Mustafa Carter. The next year, Morris was found guilty and sentenced to life.
It has been nearly two decades since Morris was convicted for murder despite being innocent. Thankfully, his days in prison are finally over.
Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project and Conviction Integrity Unit Probe Leads to Reversing Wrongful Conviction After 17 Years https://t.co/gBLK8CHfL2
— Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project (@MidAtlanticIP) November 4, 2021
The Baltimore City State’s Aattorney’s Conviction Integrity Unit (CIU) launched an investigation into Morris’ case in 2018.
The key witness was the arresting officer at the murder scene.
He identified Morris as being present at the location, the Director of Communications for the State’s Attorney for Baltimore City, Zy Richardson said. However, as per CNN, the officer had a previous misconduct finding.
“That police officer was much later convicted of various crimes relating to fraud and placed on our ‘Do Not Call’ list, a list that we published last week, where we believe the officer is no longer credible to call as a witness in any case.”
David Morris: Maryland man exonerated on murder charges after nearly 17 years in prison – CNN – so proud of @ubaltlaw Innocence Project Clinic student attorneys and former director Michele Nethercott for their work for their client Mr. Morris. https://t.co/fPA2j70X1a
— Prof. Margaret E. Johnson (@ProfMEJohnson1) November 4, 2021
What’s more, the key witness claims were proven to be inconsistent. Additionally, the CIU investigation found that the DNA on the victim’s pants did not match Morris’. A crime scene analysis, additional witnesses, and attendant circumstances also pointed to Morris’ innocence.
Michele Nethercott, of Counsel at MAIP and former director of UBIPC, said the original trial, in which Morris was held responsible for Carter’s killing, was “incredibly weak.”
“Our post-conviction investigation unearthed even more evidence supporting his longstanding claim of innocence. We’re grateful to Mr. Carter’s family for assisting in the investigation despite the pain it must have caused, and we want to thank all former staff, students, and colleagues for their hard work. I look forward to seeing Mr. Morris as a free man later today.”
The Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project, the University of Baltimore Innocence Project Clinic, and the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Conviction Integrity Unit opened a joint investigation that proved the brothers did not commit the crime. #ubalt https://t.co/YB1iACspRD
— The University of Baltimore (@ubaltmain) June 18, 2020
Until now, the CIU has justified 11 people for crimes they did not commit. State Attorney Marilyn Mosby explained:
“This case exemplifies the deeply damaging nature of the historical failures of the criminal justice system and our duty as prosecutors to address the wrongs of the past.
On behalf of the state, let me extend my sincerest apologies to Mr. Morris and his family for the unspeakable trauma inflicted upon him as a result of this wrongful conviction.”
The investigators are currently working on identifying the real killer of Mustafa Carter.