Man Wrongfully Convicted of 1988 Robbery Released From Prison

In 1988 a man was sentenced to over 400 years in prison for an armed robbery. Recently, he was released following a request from the Broward State Attorney’s Office Review Unit. 

According to NBC 6 South Florida, Sidney Holmes, 57, was released after serving 34 years in prison. 

“It’s surreal,” Holmes said after he gained his freedom. “I never would give up hope. I knew this day was going to come sooner or later and today is the day. I can’t put it into words, it’s overwhelming. I can’t hate, I just have to keep moving.”

The Conviction Review Unit, which worked with the Innocence Project of Florida, took on Holmes’ case after he contacted the Conviction Review Unit. During the investigation, the Conviction Review and Innocence Project found issues with eyewitnesses, which was the main evidence used against Holmes during the trial, according to NBC 6. 

NBC 6 reports that an eyewitness misidentified Holmes because the photo and lineup used by local police were scientifically reliable and out of date. According to reports, a civilian investigation was the reason Holmes was the only suspect, led by the fact that Holmes drove an Oldsmobile similar to the vehicle used during the robbery. 

In 1988, prosecutors said Holmes was the driver of two men who robbed a man and woman at gunpoint for stealing the man’s car. But there was no evidence linking Holmes to the crime. 

According to NBC 6, the Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies and the original investigation expressed disbelief over Holmes’ hefty prison sen

tence. Prosecutors said that they were confident that there was not misconduct by witnesses or law enforcement. They told the station that although the identification procedures and technology have improved since 1988, the prosecutor’s office followed standard processes during the 1988 investigation. 

Upon his release from prison, the first thing Holmes did was hug his mother. 

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