Michigan man gets release from prison 26 years after conviction for prison informant testimony

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DETROIT – A man convicted of murder based on the testimony of a prison informant should be released after spending 26 years in prison, The Associated Press reports.

Authorities recently concluded that the informant’s testimony was unreliable, making the 1994 trial and conviction of Larry D. Smith, 45, “not just,” the Wayne County District Attorney said, Kym Worthy, whose Conviction Integrity Unit recently reviewed the case.

A judge is expected to dismiss Smith’s conviction today, the AP reports.

Smith, of Detroit, was 18 when he was accused of killing Kenneth Hayes, according to the report. No one said they saw his face during the crime, and there was no “conclusive forensic evidence” connecting him, the prosecutor’s office said.

The conviction was based on testimony from a prison informant who claimed Smith confessed to him, according to the report. However, the informant could have been lying to gain the favor of the police, prosecutors said.

Smith, who has repeatedly declared his innocence, will not face a new trial, according to the report.

“Justice has finally been served. … Larry has finally got his life back, ”said Mary Owens, Smith’s lawyer.

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