Man Spends 34 for Years in Prison for Crime He Did Not Commit, His Photos Go Viral

Man Spends 34 for Years in Prison for Crime He Did Not Commit, His Photos Go Viral

  • Sidney Holmes was convicted in April 1989 and sentenced to 400 years in jail so he would not come out alive
  • After a new probe, it turned out that he was wrongfully identified in a line-up and linked to the wrong car
  • He has since been exonerated and freed from prison after 34 years and says he does not harbour any hate

A man who was wrongfully sentenced to 400 years in jail has been released after a new probe into the case determined he didn't commit armed robbery in the state of Florida.

Sidney Holmes.
Sidney Holmes with members of his family (l), crying after he was set free (r). Photos: NBC News, ABC.
Source: UGC

Holmes was sentenced to 400 years in prison

ABC reports Sidney Holmes was accused of allegedly driving the get-away car for two unidentified men who violently robbed a man and woman outside a store and stole the male victim's car.

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He was arrested on October 1988 and convicted in a jury trial in April 1989. The Jury sentenced Holmes to 400 years in prison.

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At the time, the prosecutor had asked the judge to sentence him to 825 years.

“I can’t put it into words, it’s overwhelming," said Holmes, after he was exonerated and freed on Monday, March 13.

Broward County State Attorney Harold F. Pryor, said a thorough reinvestigation of the 1988 armed robbery case raised reasonable doubts about his guilt.

"With the Christian faith I have, I can't have hate. I Just have to keep moving," said Holmes.

Holmes was misidentified

Holmes was sentenced as a habitual offender, as he was previously convicted of armed robbery for two incidents that occurred in August 1984. He pleaded guilty and immediately confessed.

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In 2020, Holmes contacted the State Attorney’s Conviction Review Unit (CRU) and said he was factually innocent of the robbery.

CRU found there was no evidence connecting Holmes to the robbery besides a flawed identification of him and the car.

They found a misidentification that was partly because of photo and live lineup practices, which the state attorney's office found as "scientifically unreliable."

“We have one rule here at the Broward State Attorney’s Office – do the right thing, always," Pryor said in a statement.
"As prosecutors, our only agenda is to promote public safety in our community and to ensure that justice is served. I commend the victims, witnesses and law enforcement officers for their candor and assistance in reinvestigating a crime that occurred more than 34 years ago."

Man wrongly sent to prison released

In a similar case reported on March 5, a man who was wrongly imprisoned when he was a young man was finally set free from detention.

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Maurice Hastings was wrongly arrested in 1983 at the age of 31 for the murder of Roberta Wydermyer Hastings was released after a DNA test found that the person who committed the crime died in prison.

Maurice Hastings was arrested in 1983 in connection with the murder of Roberta Wydermye, who was sexual'ly assaulted.


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