On Thursday, Juwan Deering walked out of an Oakland County courthouse a freeman after spending 15 years in prison. Juwan was sentenced to a life prison term in a fire arson case that claimed the life of five children. Oakland judge, Jeffrey Matis, however, vacated his conviction last week and was released on Thursday.
“I never gave up hope. I didn’t think a god I believed in would keep me in prison for something I didn’t do”, said the excited Juwan after his release. Vacating the case, Jeffrey Matis claimed that critical evidence had been withheld from Juwan’s defense attorney leading to an unfair trial of the victim.
Minutes after Juwan’s release Oakland prosecutor Karen McDonald promised not to retry his case. “It was the right thing to do. There was evidence that Juwan, his defense, nor we, ever saw. I know he did not receive a fair trial” said Karen after Juwan’s release.
Earlier on an independent probe into Juwan’s case had discovered possible breach of the victims’ rights and new evidence into the case. This forced Karen and her team to file a motion to have Juwan’s life sentence vacated.
Upon meeting his family and friends, Juwan had this to say, “This was the day I looked forward to, seeing my family again. For all those (still in prison), I hope they don’t give up and one day they will be free”.