A man who spent nearly 17 years in prison for murder walked free on Friday after authorities discovered evidence that law officers and prosecutors hid key details from defense lawyers during his trial.
Superior Court Judge Joe Turner ordered that LaMonte Armstrong, 62, be released from prison where he was serving a life sentence.
Armstrong was convicted in 1995 for the 1988 killing of Ernestine Compton, one of his former professors at North Carolina A&T State University.
Read more: LaMonte Armstrong: 'I never stopped praying': Man freed after 17-years in jail for murder is freed | Mail Online
A little on wrongful convictions:
There have been 292 post-conviction DNA exonerations in the United States.
• The first DNA exoneration took place in 1989. Exonerations have been won in 36 states; since 2000, there have been 225 exonerations.
• 17 of the 292 people exonerated through DNA served time on death row. Another 15 were charged with capital crimes but not sentenced to death.
• The average length of time served by exonerees is 13 years. The total number of years served is approximately 3,839.
• The average age of exonerees at the time of their wrongful convictions was 27.
Eyewitness Misidentification Testimony was a factor in 72 percent percent of post-conviction DNA exoneration cases in the U.S., making it the leading cause of these wrongful convictions. At least 40 percent of these eyewitness identifications involved a cross racial identification (race data is currently only available on the victim, not for non-victim eyewitnesses). Studies have shown that people are less able to recognize faces of a different race than their own. These suggested reforms are embraced by leading criminal justice organizations and have been adopted in the states of New Jersey and North Carolina, large cities like Minneapolis and Seattle, and many smaller jurisdictions.Read more.