Thu June 20, 2013
Murder Convict Who Says He's Innocent Released After Reaching Plea Deal
A man in prison for a murder he says he didn't commit was released after reaching a plea deal with the Milwaukee district attorney's office.
Wisconsin Innocence Project (WIP) attorneys say prosecutors ignored evidence that another man had confessed to the crime.
Seneca Malone from Milwaukee was five years into a life sentence for killing Ricardo Mora in 2008 when he was granted a new trial based on evidence gathered by WIP. Project spokesman Ion Meyn says Malone decided to plea to an amended charge of negligent homicide that carries a sentence of five years which he has already served rather than face a new trial. Meyn says project attorneys had hoped prosecutors would just dismiss the case, but they didn't.
Meyn: “I think it was agonizing for Seneca for sure. But a jury can get it wrong and he knows that.”
Malone was released Tuesday night. Attorney Jerome Buting says Malone still maintains his innocence but has few, if any, legal avenues to pursue to clear his name or get financial compensation for the time he served.
Meyn: “You’re up against a lot of hurdles in a criminal case because most of the actors in the criminal justice system have immunity — either absolute or qualified — from civil law suits. For instance it's very difficult to sue ones' own lawyer for malpractice if you're wrongly convicted.”
Buting says Malone's original attorney failed to pursue the possibility that another man had committed the crime.