Bobby Johnson was released from prison after serving nine years behind bars accused of murder. According to the Associated Press, 25-year-old Bobby Johnson was a free man as of Friday, and he was met with applause as he exited the New Haven Superior Court in New Haven, Connecticut.
— Wrongful Convictions (@WrongConvBlog) September 4, 2015
— Esteban L. Hernandez (@EstebanHRZ) September 4, 2015
— Alaine Griffin (@alainegriffin) September 4, 2015
“I’m still trying to grasp everything now. It’s beautiful. It’s beautiful,” Johnson said.
Sources say that Johnson was coerced into confessing to a crime that he didn’t commit, and that it was an easy sell because he had a “low IQ.” For several years, attorney Kenneth Rosenthal worked to get his client justice, and many were very happy to see that day finally come.
“The totality of the information developed to date, and presently available, while falling short of proof of actual innocence, has sufficiently undermined the state’s confidence in the judgment of conviction,” the prosecutors wrote.
Although Bobby Johnson was released from prison, Rosenthal’s job still isn’t done. He is now planning to file a wrongful incarceration claim, which could make Johnson a millionaire.
According to the Canada Journal, Johnson was sentenced to 38 years in prison after he confessed to murdering 70-year-old Herbert Fields back in 2006. Reports indicate that Johnson was basically bullied into confessing to the crime, told that he would never see his family again if he didn’t admit he murdered Mr. Fields. The then-teen broke down in tears, and said that it was indeed him who shot the man.
“Rosenthal said New Haven police coerced Johnson into confessing by telling him he was facing the death penalty and he would never see his family again unless he admitted killing Fields. Johnson had an IQ of 69 — below the threshold of 70 considered mental impairment — and broke down and cried as police questioned him and promised him probation if he confessed.”
Bobby Johnson wasn’t the only man released from prison for murders he didn’t commit either. Just this past year alone, Scott Lewis and Stefon Morant were both freed from Connecticut state prisons after both of them claimed they had been coerced to confess by police in a double murder case.
[Photo via CBS News/ Twitter]