"This is a great day": Man freed after 28 years in prison as judge tosses conviction

by Daniel Payne · Jan 22nd, 2020 1:47 pm

A Philadelphia man walked out of prison on Tuesday after serving nearly three decades as a judge dismissed his triple-murder conviction handed down in 1989.

According to the Associated Press:

The Philadelphia District Attorney's office called the case a "perfect storm" of injustice, writing in a court filing that the case was marred by serious misconduct by the prosecution, an ineffective defense and a witness who supplied false testimony.

The witness who testified against Wilson and Williams later recanted, saying he had provided false testimony in exchange for a deal to escape the death penalty and in hopes of eventual release. At a 2013 hearing, forensic specialists testified that physical evidence contradicted his earlier account of events.

Theophalis Wilson, 48 was a teenager when he was accused and convicted of a triple slaying in north Philadelphia 28 years ago. He is the 12th person cleared of a wrongful sentence under the district attorney's Conviction Integrity Unit.

Asked how he coped with the decades he spent behind bars, Wilson told local media he utilized "lots of prayer [and] a lot of discipline." He said that he turned "jail into Yale, prison into Princeton, and the Big House into Harvard."

"This is a great day," Wilson said after his release Tuesday afternoon. "Now we gotta go back and get the other guys. There's a lot of innocent people in jail."