A Pennsylvania man is free today after spending more than two decades behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit.
John Miller was released from the State Correctional institution in Frackville, Pennsylvania on Wednesday after 21 years behind bars for second-degree murder. Prosecutors declined to retry him on the grounds that evidence was lacking, according to court records obtained by CNN.
“I’m very happy and excited that after 21 years I’m finally being heard and that my innocence has reached the surface,” Miller said in a written statement through his attorney. “I’m going home to my family. I’m overwhelmed, excited, and happy.”
In 1997, Miller was convicted for the October 1996 murder of parking lot attendant Anthony Mullen, which occurred during a robbery attempt outside Philadelphia’s main railroad station 30th Street Station, CNN reported. Found to be at fault for second-degree murder, Miller was sentenced to life in prison.
In 2002, David Williams, who was the witness who identified Miller as the killer, wrote a letter to Miller’s mother confessing to the killing.
“I can’t live with this on my conscience. Your son had no knowledge of this crime. He wasn’t even there. I lied on him,” court documents state he wrote.
Speaking to the police as a witness in the 90’s Williams said Miller confessed to him that he killed Mullens. He told the police that for leniency on another case, according to court documents.
The statement Wiliams made ended up being the determining factor in the case against Miller says the DA’s offices motion.
Miller’s lawyer, Thomas Gallager of Pepper Hamilton LLC said in a news release that even with Williams sending the letter to Miller’s mother all 10 appeals were denied.
That all changed in 2009 when the Pennslyvania Innocence Project got involved in the case.
Miler was not angry about losing 21 years of his like stating he felt “thankful and blessed” to be home with his family.