BALTIMORE (WJZ) – WJZ’s Vic Carter recently spoke with Lamar Johnson.

Johnson, 36, was wrongfully convicted, accused of a murder that happened on March 26, 2004. 

The victim, Carlos Sawyer, 31, was shot on the corner of McElderry Street and Patterson Park Avenue. 

Johnson was more than six blocks south on North Collington Avenue at the time of Sawyer’s murder. He served 13 years in prison for a crime he did not commit.  

This, however, is just one case in Maryland where someone lost years of their life, and freedom, because they were wrongfully convicted. 

Andrew Chestnut, Ransom Watkins and Andrew Stewart served a combined 204 years in prison. They were released from prison in November 2019. All three men were exonerated, freed from crimes they did not commit. 

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Chestnut, Watkins and Stewart were arrested on Thanksgiving in 1983, accused of killing 14-year-old Dewitt Duckett in the hallway off Harlem Park Junior High School over his Georgetown jacket.

Thirty-six years later, Baltimore States’ Attorney Marilyn Mosby said a reinvestigation brought forth new evidence and testimony from witnesses that proved their innocence.

The men always maintained their innocence.

Walter Lomax served 38 years in prison for a murder he did not commit. 

Lomax was locked up in the Maryland Correctional Institution in Jessup, for a 1967 murder and robbery case. He was 20 years old when he went in.

He was released from prison in 2006 and spent the succeeding years advocating for exoneration to get his record cleared.

Clarence Shipley was accused in the 1991 murder of Baltimore chef Kevin Smith who was shot and killed in Cherry Hill. 

Authorities said two witnesses wrongfully named Shipley as the shooter, which led to his conviction.

These are just some of the cases in Maryland where someone lost years of their life, and freedom, because they were wrongfully convicted. 

The Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project exonerates the wrongly convicted through DNA testing and reforms the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice. For a list of all cases, visit exonerate.org

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