That was then.
This is now.
Then was decades on death row.
Now is freedom.
Then was convicted (along with Michael Keenan) of killing Anthony Klann on the word of Edward Espinoza, co-defendant, juvenile, probable killer.
Now is exonerated.
Then was the government hiding evidence of innocence.
Then, but later, was the government hiding more evidence.
Then, but later, was the government dicking around yet again.
Then, but later still, was the federal judge saying
Enough. You can't prosecute him again.
And they really couldn't have, since they had no evidence. None. Not any more. Not when they had to tell all the truths.
Then, but later still, was the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals agreeing.
It's over. Let it go.
Now is the big boys and girls, the United States Supreme Court, refusing to get involved.
BOBBY, WARDEN V. D'AMBROSIO, JOE
The motion of respondent for leave to proceed in forma pauperis is granted. The petition for a writ of certiorari is denied.
Now is when the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor has to suck it up.
His name is Joe D'Ambrosio, and I've written about his case before.
Anthony Klann was murdered in 1988. D'Ambrosio, Keenan, and Espinoza were charged with killing him. Espinoza, who was a juvenile and never eligible for death under Ohio law, cut a deal and testified against both D'Ambrosio and Keenan.
Over the years, as evidence hidden by the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor was uncovered and new evidence developed, the picture changed. But the state's commitment to killing D'Ambrosio and Keenan never wavered.
And now it's not just that they can't kill D'Ambrosio. It's not just that he's out of prison (as he has been for a bit now). He's been exonerated.
And, although I don't say this often, it happens that he's also innocent.
Which is no small thing.
Here's that "Now" picture again.
Welcome home, Joe.