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A Wrongfully Convicted Man Is Finally Free After Serving 20 Years In Jail


Marvin Haynes
Photo Credit: The Great North Innocent Project

Marvin Haynes, who spent the majority of his life incarcerated for a crime he did not commit, is finally a free man after a Minnesota court overturned his conviction. Haynes, who was only 16 when charged with the murder of 55-year-old Harry "Randy" Sherer in 2004, was released last Monday, almost two decades after being wrongfully convicted.


The case against Haynes relied heavily on eyewitness testimony, with no forensic evidence, fingerprints, DNA, or recovered murder weapon. One witness later admitted to not getting a good look at the suspect, and another recanted his testimony.


In a review brought by the Great North Innocence Project, it was revealed that the methods used to identify Haynes as the suspect were inconsistent with best practices and unnecessarily suggestive.


Mary Moriarty, the current top prosecutor at the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, acknowledged the injustice done to Haynes and issued a public apology for the mishandling of the case nearly two decades ago. At a November hearing, the judge vacated Haynes’ conviction, recognizing the violation of his right to due process.

In a written statement, Moriarty expressed regret for the harm inflicted on Haynes and his family, as well as on the victim's family and the community. She acknowledged the milestones Haynes missed during his wrongful imprisonment, apologizing for the lost opportunities to graduate high school, attend prom, build relationships, and partake in important family events.

“To Marvin Haynes: You lost the opportunity to graduate from high school, attend prom, have relationships, attend weddings and funerals, and be with your family during holidays,” Moriarty said. “For that, I am so deeply sorry.”

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