“Two weeks ago, I was wandering the yard” in prison.
– George Seward, at the Maryland House of Delegates, where he and MAIP are fighting an attempt to weaken the Writ of Actual Innocence statute that helped free him after 31 years in prison (2/26/16)
George Seward was wrongfully convicted of a 1984 rape and sentenced to two consecutive life sentences plus 73 years, even though he was at work during the time of the crime.
Seward’s employer originally told his trial lawyers that she didn’t have the work records that proved his innocence, but post-conviction lawyers discovered she did have the records. MAIP, along with the University of Baltimore Innocence Project Clinic and pro bono counsel at Gilbert LLP, filed an amicus brief on behalf of Seward and consulted with his attorney, Booth Ripke of Nathans Biddle, about the case.
Efforts to appeal Seward’s conviction were denied, but in 2009, his attorney filed a Writ of Actual Innocence, and in 2012 the Circuit Court for Baltimore County granted Seward a new trial. In January 2016, the Maryland Court of Appeals ruled against the State in their effort to appeal.
On February 10, 2016, after spending nearly 32 years behind bars, Seward was released.
Read more about this case:
Opinion in Seward v. State of Maryland, 446 Md. 171 (2016)
Opinion in State of Maryland v. Seward, 220 Md. App 1 (2014)
Opinion in Seward v. State of Maryland (Md. Cir. Ct. Balt. Cty. July 30, 2012)
Columbia University Journal of Law and Social Problems, Vol. 49, Issue 1: “Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda” by Michael H. Cassel