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2010 murder conviction reversed in New Orleans

1 year 7 months 2 weeks ago Tuesday, June 15 2021 Jun 15, 2021 June 15, 2021 5:13 AM June 15, 2021 in News
Source: Associated Press
Kaliegh Smith with his mother Photo: NOLA.com

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A man convicted of second-degree murder in New Orleans in 2010 won his freedom after prosecutors agreed to drop the case against him Monday.

The Innocence Project New Orleans says the conviction of Kaliegh Smith in a fatal 2007 shooting was thrown out last month. And court records show prosecutors agreed Monday to drop the case.

Lawyers for the organization had shown that prosecutors failed to disclose information casting doubt on the testimony of their key eye witness in 2010. Also, the organization said DNA evidence eventually implicated someone other than Smith.

Smith had been locked up since his arrest in 2007. He was convicted by a non-unanimous jury, a practice that has since been declared unconstitutional.

District Attorney Jason Williams, who took office in January, vowed to review all standing convictions by non-unanimous juries. The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate reported Monday that the dropping of Smith’s case marks the fourth time Williams’ office has agreed to reverse a conviction.

“The prosecutorial misconduct in this case is unusually well documented,” defense attorney Meredith Angelson said in a news release from the Innocence Project New Orleans. “The misconduct is indefensible and led to an innocent man losing years of his life in prison.”

The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate reported that Williams’ office said it would make a referral about the 2010 trial to the state Office of Disciplinary Counsel, which is charged with investigating attorney misconduct in Louisiana.

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