Innocent men forced to prove innocence again
Even after serving a 26 year sentence and being exonerated of a 1976 murder and robbery conviction, Ohio civil courts are asking two men to prove their innocent once more during a compensation trial.
Franklin County Common Pleas Judge, David Casin, told Columbus Dispatch reporters since Tim Howard and Gary James Lamar are filing a civil suit worth $5 million dollars it is their "burden to prove they are innocent of the crime."
Both men were initially on death row, until Ohio declared the death penalty unconstitutional, and their sentences were converted to life without parole. After a group of lawyers from New Jersey-based Centurion Ministiries took interest in their case the convictions were overturned in April 2003.
If awarded compensation, the two men will split a $5 million state payoff-the largest in Ohio history.
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