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Inmate released in flawed 1982 rape case

May 21, 2008 at 12:46 PM   |   Comments

DETROIT, May 21 (UPI) -- A Michigan judge Wednesday ordered the release of a prison inmate who was exonerated of a rape conviction after spending 26 years behind bars.

Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Vera Massey Jones granted the motion to release Walter Swift, who had been convicted of rape in a 1982 attack on Detroit's east side.

"He's a free man," said Swift's 27-year-old daughter, Audrey Kelly Mills. "I got my daddy for Father's Day."

The Detroit Free Press said Swift was freed with the assistance of the Innocence Project, which spent 11 years researching the case.

The victim in the rape had identified Swift as her attacker; however the lead detective called that identification flawed. There were also laboratory tests that pointed to someone other than Swift, the Free Press said.

Prosecutors added that they didn't consider Swift to be an innocent man who was wrongly convicted. They indicated they didn't oppose his release due to doubts about the fairness of the trial and the fact that he was three years away from completing his sentence.

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