Judge frees man after 30 years in jail after petition from Suffolk DA

A man who has been behind bars for nearly 30 years is now free after Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins fought for his release, arguing the man was wrongfully convicted for second-degree murder, her office said Wednesday.
A Supreme Judicial Court justice on Wednesday ordered that Robert Foxworth be immediately released from MCI-Shirley while a Suffolk Superior Court judge reviews a motion for a new trial.
“I’m grateful for the Single Justice’s swift action to ensure that a wrongfully-convicted individual has been released,” Rollins said in a statement. “In a time of increased risk of exposure to COVID-19 in our prisons, any administrative delay in Mr. Foxworth’s release presented the very real possibility that his wrongful conviction could have become a death sentence.
“My office will continue our efforts to ensure that justice is done for Mr. Foxworth as the case returns to the Superior Court,” she added. “When the Motion for a New Trial is granted, we will immediately enter a nolle prosequi, allowing Mr. Foxworth to start picking up the pieces of a life, 30 years of which were stolen from him.”
During Wednesday’s emergency hearing, the DA’s Office argued for Foxworth’s immediate release, while the Trial Court argued against the release, according to the DA’s office.
Justice Scott Kafker stayed Foxworth’s sentence and ordered his immediate release.
Foxworth in 1992 was convicted of second-degree murder in the shooting of Kenneth McLean in Dorchester.
Foxworth has always maintained his innocence. He has been denied parole twice because he would not admit guilt for a crime he says he did not commit, Rollins said.
According to the DA’s petition, a witness during Foxworth’s trial was placed “in a cell during a break in the trial proceedings and coerced … into making the identification of Mr. Foxworth through threats.”
“The witness, who was fifteen years old at that time, has since credibly recanted his identification,” the DA wrote.

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