Man Who Was Wrongfully Convicted Of Murder As A Teen Freed After Nearly Two Decades
In December 2023, Marvin Haynes was released from prison after his murder conviction was thrown out.
On Dec. 11, 2023, Marvin Haynes, a 36-year-old man from Minnesota, was set free after nearly two decades in prison after his murder conviction was thrown out. Judge William Koch overturned the conviction, stating that the evidence used in the case was “constitutionally improper” and unreliable, reported USA Today. He dismissed all charges with prejudice, so they can’t be filed again.
“I just want people to know that I am innocent. I was innocent from the very beginning. And I’m just happy that people just recognize it and understand my story,” Haynes told CNN.
“Almost twenty years ago, a terrible injustice occurred when the state prosecuted Marvin Haynes. We inflicted harm on Mr. Haynes and his family, and also on Harry Sherer, the victim, his family, and the community. We cannot undo the trauma experienced by those impacted by this prosecution, but today we have taken a step toward righting this wrong,” Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty shared in a statement.
Moriarty went on to explain, “Mr. Haynes’ conviction rested almost exclusively on eyewitness identification. There was no forensic evidence, such as fingerprints or DNA. There was no video connecting him to the crime. The murder weapon was never recovered. That should have made any prosecutor hesitant to bring charges because eyewitness identifications are often unreliable and one of the leading causes of wrongful convictions.”
Haynes had only been 16 when he was accused of fatally shooting Harry “Randy” Sherer, a 55-year-old man who was killed during an attempted robbery of his family’s flower shop in Minneapolis. He stepped in to protect his sister when someone pulled a gun on her.
Haynes initially wanted to see his mother when he was released from prison. Because his mother had a stroke, she hadn’t been able to visit him in prison in the last few years. He shared that he wants to get a job and wants to work with the Great North Innocence Project, an organization that fought for his freedom.
After having over a week of freedom, Haynes told Fox9, "I was extremely limited. But now to have my power back, to have my life back, it means so much to me. And I know now to cherish, just cherishing every moment. So, that is what I have been doing."
While Haynes celebrated his freedom, Randy Sherer’s family was not happy with the overturned conviction. They called it a “travesty,” reported KARE11.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to support Haynes as he adjusts to his regained freedom.