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Man Sues After Being Locked Up for 37 Years on Recanted, Bribed Testimony

HeadlineJan 31, 2022

A Pennsylvania man who was cleared of a murder conviction and released from prison after 37 years has filed a lawsuit accusing the city of Philadelphia of “outrageous police misconduct.” Willie Stokes, an African American man, was convicted of murder in 1984. The two detectives who were involved in the case are accused of offering sex and drugs to a witness in exchange for false testimony against Stokes. The witness, who recanted his accusation during the murder trial, was charged with perjury just days after Stokes was convicted. But Stokes didn’t have access to this information until 2015 — decades into his life sentence. Stokes was released from prison earlier this month, and his murder conviction was formally dismissed last Thursday.

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