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News Blog

Innocent man held in prison for decades to speak at U

by Stephen Dark
Posted // 2012-11-28 -

Tomorrow at lunch time at the S J Quinney College of Law, a man who spent 24 years incarcerated in Missouri for a murder he was eventually exonerated of will speak about his experiences.

The presentation, which begins at 12.15 p.m., is being put on by the Utah Student Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and will feature Darryl Burton, who was convicted of murder in the early 1980's and exonerated in 2008.

You can read his story here.  

Burton spent 24 years locked up in the Missouri State Penitentiary, a notorious institution nicknamed "the walls", which has since been closed. The prison was opened back in 1836, the year Abraham Lincoln was admitted to the Illinois State Bar, a press release from the student association notes. 

By October of this year, there had been 300 people exonerated by DNA. Burton, however, is a reminder that technology cannot address those cases where DNA evidence does not exist. Burton was found wrongfully convicted in part because of a witness who reiterated two decades later what she had told the police back in 1985 prior to his conviction: that they had the wrong man.  

Along with talking about how he dealt with the frustrations and bitterness that a wrongful conviction inevitably rings, he will also address how he was able to continue the fight for his freedom after the state and criminal justice had failed him. 

"His compelling story of the human impact of incarceration and unique perspective on criminal justice is invaluable to legal practitioners and the general public," noted the student association's press release.

Burton's lecture, which runs until 1.30 p.m., will take place at the Sutherland Moot courtroom at the S J Quinney college campus. 

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