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DNA evidence frees two men after 21 years in Attica

By George Chidi
Saturday, February 8, 2014 20:13 EDT
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Yarborough
 
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Pressed into signing a confession they knew was false, two New York teenagers received sentences of nine years to life and 75 years to life for murders they didn’t commit.

Now, nearly 21 years and seven months later, Antonio Yarbough and Sharrif Wilson are free.

Exculpatory DNA evidence emerged from a later murder. Someone matching the DNA found under the fingernails of Yarbough’s mother in 1992 — one of the three victims, who had been stabbed and strangled — was also left at a murder scene in 1999 while the two languished in Attica. That, plus the fact that the 1999 victim had been killed in the same way as the three in 1992, left no way that they could have committed the second crime and cast serious doubt that they had committed the first. The district attorney, Kenneth P. Thompson, said no jury would convict them in a retrial and asked that the two men be freed.

Watch a report on their exoneration below.

 
 
 
 
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