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Man Sentenced To Eight Life Sentences Released After 20 Years

Concertina wire surrounding a prison
Kate Ter Harr
Flickr Creative Commons

A North Carolina judge has ordered a man to be released from prison after serving 20 years of eight life sentences.  An attorney says 57-year-old Michael Alan Parker was released from Craggy Correctional Center near Asheville today. 

Parker was convicted in 1994 of 12 counts of sex crimes against his children, performed in a ritualistic manner. 

His defense attorney Sean Devereux asked for a new trial after doctors reviewed medical evidence.  Henderson County District Attorney Greg Newman says advancements in forensic investigations swayed the judge's decision.

"These folks have given opinions that if the Parker case were to be tried today that the medical evidence used almost 22 years ago would not show any evidence of abuse if used today," Newman said.

Newman added that he does not agree with the judge's decision.  He says the trial transcripts indicate it was not a wrongful conviction, furthermore an Appeals Court upheld the conviction. 

Devereux, however, says new medical evidence and recanted testimony from one of Parker's children proves the man is innocent.  Newman says he will not ask for a review of the case.

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