Posted Sep 12, 2011 08:51 pm CDT
Temporarily paralyzed after a stroke in 2003, Harry Miller couldn’t climb stairs and struggled to walk short distances as he recuperated at home in Louisiana.
But that didn’t prevent him from being convicted, based on eyewitness testimony, of a convenience store robbery in Utah that took place days after he suffered the stroke, the Deseret News reports.
He spent more than three years in prison serving a 5 years-to-life sentence and another two years appealing his conviction before being exonerated today, under a 2009 state law. It provides for an inmate to be declared innocent when clear and convincing evidence shows he or she couldn’t have committed the crime
The woman who identified Miller as the robber initially described the culprit as 18 to 21 years old. Miller was 47 at the time and today is on the verge of celebrating his 58th birthday.
His exoneration, which represents the first time in Utah history that the government has stipulated to an inmate’s factual innocence, according to the newspaper, was achieved with the help of Rocky Mountain Innocence Center.
He will receive $124,000 in compensation for the time he spent in prison.