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In 1991, Clarence Shipley Jr. was 20 years old. His life was turned upside down for the murder of 29-year-old Kevin Smith. However, he was innocent and spent 27 years in prison. Shipley, who is now 47, was finally released on Tuesday.

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The Baltimore Sun reports, “Shipley was exonerated Tuesday afternoon in Baltimore Circuit Court of robbing and killing a 29-year-old chef in Cherry Hill nearly three decades ago. He had been convicted on faulty witness testimony and imprisoned at 20 years old. Now 47, he was headed home to his wife in time for Christmas.”

Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby said outside of the courthouse, “The system did something wrong that a man, an innocent man, in the prime of his life, spent 27 years behind bars.”

In October 1991, Kevin Smith was fatally shot at the Cherry Hill Shopping Center in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. One witness lied during Shipley’s initial trial and Mosby’s office is “investigating whether to bring charges of perjury.” The most recent witnesses identified the killer as a man named Larry Davis who died in 2005.

This is the third innocent man who has been exonerated since July under Marilyn Mosby. According to The Baltimore Sun, “Last July, they freed Jerome Johnson, who was wrongly convicted of murder in Park Heights and spent 30 years behind bars. Lamar Johnson was exonerated of murder in September 2017 after serving 13 years in prison. Malcolm Bryant was exonerated of murder in May 2016 by DNA evidence and set free after 17 years in prison.”

See Shipley outside of the courthouse.


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