Wrongly Convicted Man Set Free
Whiteville, North Carolina - In 1976, Joseph Sledge was convicted on two counts of second-degree murder for stabbing 74-year-old Josephine Davis, and her 57-year-old daughter, Aileen. After being imprisoned for almost forty years, Sledge was declared innocent be a three-panel jury. His conviction was overturned due to the testimony of a DNA expert. The expert explained that none of the forensic evidence that was collected, including hair, DNA, and fingerprints, was from Sledge. Furthermore, a key informant recanted claiming that authorities offered him leniency in his own trail in exchange for testimony against Joseph Sledge.
Sledge is not the only person to be recently exonerated. In fact, he is the eighth person to have his name cleared since the state created the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission. It is the only stat-run investigation organization of its kind. The North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission found enough doubt to review Sledge's case. The state then declared that the tree judges would have the final say.
Sledge walked free Friday, with intentions to go and stay in Savannah, GA, with a family member. When asked what he was most interested in doing, he replied, "Going home. Relaxing. Sleeping in a real bed. Probably get in a pool of water and swim."
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