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Man wrongfully convicted of second-degree murder released from prison after 26 years

Posted at 4:27 PM, Sep 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-30 16:27:32-04

(WXYZ) — A man who was wrongfully convicted in 1994 was released from prison Wednesday.

Lacino Hamilton was wrongfully convicted of second-degree murder and felony firearms.

DNA testing facilitated by the Western Michigan University Cooley Law School Innocence Project was used to help win Hamilton’s release.

Hamilton was convicted of the murder of a Detroit woman when he was 21 years old. He served 26 years in prison. There were no eyewitnesses in the case and Hamilton's conviction was based, in large part, on the testimony of a jailhouse informant, who later proved to be unreliable, the Innocence Project said.

During the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Conviction Integrity Unit investigation, biological evidence was discovered that was material to the identity of the perpetrator. The WMU-Cooley Innocence Project facilitated the DNA testing. DNA found under the victim’s fingernails excluded Hamilton and an unknown male contributor’s DNA was found. The DNA testing results, along with other new evidence in the case, established that Hamilton did not commit the crime.

“I’m a little overwhelmed right now,” said Hamilton, during the virtual court hearing. “I am extremely grateful and look forward to being a productive citizen in our community.”