By Frederick H. Lowe
Isaiah McCoy, a death row inmate, became the 157th person in the United States and the first one this year to be exonerated for a crime he didn’t commit.
Prosecutors charged McCoy with shooting to death James Munford, 30, during a drug deal in the parking lot of a Dover, Delaware, bowling alley on May 4, 2010.
A jury found McCoy guilty of murder in June 2012, but the Delaware Supreme Court later overturned his conviction and death sentence in 2015 because of prosecutorial misconduct, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.
The court suspended Deputy Attorney General R. David Favata from practicing because of his misconduct at McCoy’s trials. His acts included belittling McCoy and making intimidating comments during a break in proceedings and then lying to the judge about making the comments. McCoy, who acted as his own attorney, rejected a plea deal.
In a bench trial, Kent County, Delaware, Superior Court Judge Robert B. Young acquitted McCoy after ruling that there was no physical evidence tying McCoy to the murder.
After he was released from prison on January 19, McCoy said,”I just want to say to all those out there going through the same thing I’m going through to keep the faith and keep fighting.”