NewsMinneapolis Man Exonerated After 19 Years

Minneapolis Man Exonerated After 19 Years

Haynes is eligible for restitution, or payments made to compensate him for each year he spent behind bars.

At a press conference on the day of his exoneration, Haynes was grateful to his loved ones for their unwavering support.

“I’m so excited,” Haynes said. “My family, it’s been years since I’ve seen a lot of them. I haven’t seen my mom in three or four years because she has health problems, so that’s been difficult to deal with. When I leave here, that’s the first place I’m going.”

Marvin Haynes was wrongfully convicted and his biggest champion for nearly 19 years was his sister Marvina. Today he had the opportunity to thank her while also shining light on the injustices in the system that are responsible for him missing almost two decades of his life pic.twitter.com/THqwRvKGsO— Georgia Fort (@ByGeorgiaFort) December 12, 2023

Haynes is eligible for restitution, or payments made to compensate him for each year he spent behind bars, but he must file with the Hennepin County District Court. Andrew Markquart, a lawyer with the Great North Innocence Project and Haynes’ representative in court, told the Star-Tribune, “We believe fully in his innocence and it’s been a long time coming for him and his family. We’re just thrilled and happy to be able to play a part in his story.”

“I was innocent from the very beginning. And I am just happy that people recognized it and understand my story and really know that I am actually innocent. I am proud that people know my name and my story.”-Marvin Haynes, who spent 19 years in prison after wrongful conviction: pic.twitter.com/3tamFmQ8MN— CNN This Morning (@CNNThisMorning) December 12, 2023

However, the investigators working the case showed a two-year-old mugshot of Haynes in which he had a short haircut. After viewing that old mugshot, McDermid picked Haynes out of a lineup of potential suspects.

In November, Haynes’ lawyers argued in court that the mugshot, investigation, and trial were all suggestive, which warranted overturning Haynes’ conviction.

The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office agreed. Mary Moriarty, a county attorney, told her staff on Dec. 11, “Sometimes doing the right thing means we must seek to undo the harms of the past, not defend them. And that is what we have tried to do in this case. It is not easy to admit and correct our wrongs. But it is necessary.”

In her appearance at a the news conference, Moriarty did not blame McDermid for selecting Haynes. Instead, she assigned blame to the former prosecutors at her office, including retired Assistant County Attorney Mike Furnstahl. Furnstahl, according to the Star-Tribune, does not agree with the decision reached by Judge Koch and Moriarty and called Haynes’ conviction “solid.”

Ahead of the November hearing, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office made moves that signaled it would agree to drop the conviction of Haynes, including waiving the statute of limitations regarding a petition for post conviction release. There was a bill introduced in Minnesota’s legislature this past session that will allow post-conviction petitions based on new evidence that’ comes out that’s revealed more than two years after the conviction to stand instead of being automatically thrown out. 

Koch’s order dropped all charges “in the interest of justice” and established that “absent introduction of the unconstitutional eyewitness identification evidence, it is doubtful there would have been sufficient evidence to sustain a conviction.” Ahead of his release, Haynes told the Star-Tribune that he would be relying on family until he could secure gainful employment and independent housing. 

RELATED CONTENT: New York City Sued By Formerly Incarcerated Man Exonerated After 27 Years


Source: Black Enterprise

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