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Exonerated Innocent Man Describes 21 Year Prison Nightmare

Kenneth Ireland of Connecticut was 17 when he was arrested for raping and killing a woman. During his police interrogation, he maintained his innocence. He was 18 when he was tried and convicted. 21 years later, in 2009, he was freed after DNA evidence showed he did not commit the crime, and the real perpetrator was identified, tried, convicted and sentenced.

A state commissioner will decide Ireland's compensation, which may be up to $8 million. During testimony this week Ireland described the horror he experienced daily in prison.

I wish it were an actual nightmare ... because then I could have woken up instead of spending 21 years in a tiny cell with the most violent criminals who targeted me because I was a convicted sex offender."

[More...]

What was the evidence against him at trial?

[Attorney]William Bloss said his client was wrongfully convicted based on the false testimony of a couple who claimed Ireland told them he committed the crime after the state offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the killer.

The Commissioner expects to decide his claim "by the end of the year." Why does it take so long? He's been out for five years. And what about the couple who lied and got him convicted -- were they charged?

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