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Inmates convicted and released in 1997 mass shooting

Convicted of shooting another man in New Orleans in 1997 and spent more than 20 years in prison The man was released by prosecutors on Monday, agreeing that his conviction should be overturned.

A motion to vacate the conviction of Cedric L. Dent, 47, in the shooting of Anthony Milton was granted by a judge on Monday, and the District Attorney's Office announced the case's release, according to court records. Agreed not to continue prosecution.

The shooting occurred outside a New Orleans supermarket, according to court records.

Prosecutors in the 1990s withheld documents showing witnesses to the shootings and found them inconsistent, according to the Innocence Project New Orleans organization. It says. Dent, and key witness stories changed many times before he testified at trial. Documents also revealed that other eyewitness testimony describing the shooter did not match Dent. .

Victim of the failure of every system put in place to protect your rights as a person accused of a crime.Police have done the bare minimum to investigate a serious crime.A lawyer has filed his case. the district attorney's office, which did not have the resources or means to investigate; ' said Meredith Angelson, one of Dent's attorneys, in a statement released by the organization.

A statement from the office of District Attorney Jason Williams noted that Dent was convicted by a non-unanimous jury - currently under Louisiana law or U.S. Supreme Court precedent. Unacceptable Verdict.

"After a thorough review of Mr. Dent's case, our office, like many convictions decided by unanimous jurors, decided against him. The guilty verdict was one of 12 jurors who acquitted him because support from his defense counsel was constitutionally invalid," the statement said. "The legal system has betrayed Mr. Dent and, likewise, the victims of this crime and their families."

Innocence Project New Orleans said Dent was released from state prison on Monday.

WWL says he tearfully hugged his mother when he was released.  

Dent is already the nephew of one of his customers, Elvis Brooks, according to the organization. Brooks was released in 2019 after serving 42 years for a murder related to armed robbery, Brooks was 62 at the time of his release. He always said he was not involved in the robbery. After IPNO found evidence withheld during his trial, prosecutors agreed to a deal to release him if he pleaded guilty to a minor charge of manslaughter. 

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