Vote 2020 graphic
Everything you need to know about and expect during
the most important election of our lifetimes

Man Convicted of Double Murder 25 Years Ago Is Free After New Evidence Emerges

Illustration for article titled Man Convicted of Double Murder 25 Years Ago Is Free After New Evidence Emerges
Photo: Shutterstock

It’s an unfortunate reality that failings in the American judicial system often result in people being imprisoned who don’t deserve to be. These failings more often than not affect black men. While it’s long overdue, justice has finally been served to a man wrongfully convicted by the system.

Advertisement

CBS News reports that after 25 years, Calvin Bright has been released from prison. The Washington, D.C., man was only 22 years old when he was wrongfully convicted in the shooting deaths of Tammy Peay and William Ramsey back in 1994. Two years ago, a letter was found from the detectives originally investigating the case that named another man as a suspect in the murders.

During a re-sentencing hearing on Wednesday, his original counsel testified that this evidence would’ve altered the way he litigated and investigated the case. Bright was initially sentenced to 65 years to life. He was released on time served and will be on probation for five years. Additionally, he cannot sue the district as part of the terms of his release.

Advertisement

Bright is only 15 credits from obtaining his associate’s degree and is looking to start a career in criminal justice. He wants to open an investigation firm. “So now I can do something about the next person that winds up in the predicament that I went into,” said Bright.

It’s truly a damn shame that it took 25 years for them to find the letter that held the key to this man’s freedom. The fact that the letter was found in the original case file just raises so many questions. Why wasn’t this brought up in the first place? Why didn’t the detectives say anything? The more you look at it, the sketchier it all seems.

I’m happy Bright finally has his freedom but it’s frustrating to see how easily this could’ve been avoided. Not only that, there is no justice for the families of two people whose deaths were at the center of this case, due to sloppy investigative work.

Jr Staff Writer @TheRoot. Watcher of wrestling, player of video games. Mr. Steal Your Disney+ Password.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION

adimentsuak
adimentsuak

EVERYBODY on the Root KNOWS only bkpipo are wrongly accused and convicted, right?

An El Dorado Hills man who spent 15 years in prison for a murder he did not commit was freed Thursday after prosecutors announced they had found the real killer of a 54-year-old newspaper columnist through a genetic genealogy investigation.

It marks the second time in the country’s law enforcement history that investigators used the groundbreaking DNA technology to free an innocent man, prosecutors said.

Ricky Davis was arrested in 1999 for the July 7, 1985, fatal stabbing of Jane Hylton, his El Dorado Hills roommate. He was convicted in August 2005 of second-degree murder and was sentenced to 16 years to life in prison.

Through the help of the Northern California Innocence Project, on April 15 Davis’ murder conviction was reversed by a judge, but he remained in custody awaiting a possible retrial.

Utilizing similar technology and investigatory techniques that led to the capture of the alleged Golden State Killer, forensic specialists with the Sacramento County crime lab used a DNA profile captured from bite-mark saliva off of Hylton’s bloodied nightgown to identify a juvenile who had been hanging out with the victim’s 13-year-old daughter the day of the murder.

El Dorado County District Attorney Vern Pierson said he could not yet identify the new suspect — who was arrested Tuesday in Roseville — because he was a juvenile at the time of the murder and prosecutors are in the process of transferring his case to adult court. But he said a Michael Green was arrested and that matched the name of a juvenile Autumn, Hylton’s young daughter, identified to police in 1985 as someone she met at a nearby park shortly before the slaying.

On Thursday morning, Pierson filed a motion to dismiss all charges against the 54-year-old Davis, who was only 20 at the time of the murder, and ask for a finding of factual innocence. The judge granted the request and hours later, Davis walked out of the El Dorado County jail smiling as he was quickly surrounded by friends and family.

He refused to comment to reporters, instead holding up a black sweatshirt embroidered with a yellow Innocence Project logo.