New World For Man Cleared And Released From Prison After 20 Years

A Connecticut man cleared of rape and murder charges because of DNA evidence likens his release from prison to waking from a coma.

A judge on Wednesday dismissed charges against Kenneth Ireland. The DNA tests showed he could not have committed the 1986 rape and murder.

In his first in-depth interview since being released, Ireland tells The Associated Press he is amazed to see how old he had become. In prison, he saw only fuzzy glimpses of his face in tiny plastic mirrors. He recently got a good look at himself in a real mirror for the first time in more than 20 years.

When Ireland was sent to prison for 50 years in 1988, he had never used a cell phone, the Internet or even played music from a CD.

The investigation into Pelkey's death has been reopened.


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  • by Scott Location: Williamston on Aug 24, 2009 at 09:36 AM
    Thank god for the DNA. No tellin' how many other poor saps this has happened to. Insufficient evidence, suspect testimonies and juries will still convict and judges still hand out maximums. That old maxim "Guilty beyond a reasonable doubt" isn't true. From reading a article about a similar situation earlier last year, I think NC gave a guy about $10,000 per year locked up.
  • by Wanda Location: Kenansville on Aug 24, 2009 at 07:31 AM
    Wow, I can not imagine being innocent and locked up. I hope he is compensated for being incarerated. Why did it take years for him to clear his name? DNA has been around awhile. How long was he in a come? CT he's now ready for that BLANK check.
  • by Nathan Location: Eastern NC on Aug 23, 2009 at 10:17 PM
    State of CT owes him millions of dollars? Suppose he gets it. Our government is already trillions of dollars in debt, what's another few million? And then we shake our heads and wonder why the government owes so much. No, here's what they ought to do. Gov't seizes stuff all the time, auctions it off. They make a tiny percentage of what it's worth. Give the man a nice waterfront seasonal home, a small yacht, a nice car or two, and a nice home in a city of his choice. A few million dollars worth of stuff that would only set them back perhaps a fraction of that. That would be some smart economics and justice would be served. That said, I can't imagine what it would be like to go from 1988 to today. That's the stuff of science fiction, or in the case of one film, a teen romance. So just imagine what it would be like in 21 more years.
  • by Wolfgang Location: Chocowinity,NC on Aug 23, 2009 at 05:59 PM
    The State of Connecticut owes him Millions of dollars in compensation. He hope he hires a good attorney.
  • by Anonymous on Aug 23, 2009 at 03:08 PM
    so the law stole this man man life
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