Ohio Man Cleared by DNA Evidence
September 19, 2001
CLEVELAND (AP) - DNA evidence has cleared a man who has spent 13 years in prison after being convicted of rape.
Michael Green, 35, was convicted of raping a nurse who was being treated for liver cancer at the Cleveland Clinic. She died after testifying at Green's trial that he was her attacker.
Green, a former employee at the research hospital, was sentenced to 20 to 50 years in prison.
However, tests showed that DNA on a washcloth used by the attacker to clean up and found at the crime scene in 1988 didn't match Green's DNA.
Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Carmen Marino said Tuesday he will not challenge the results of the test.
``Thirteen years is a long time to spend in prison. If he's innocent, what a tragedy,'' Marino said.
Unless new information is obtained that calls into the question the accuracy of the DNA findings, there would be little reason to challenge Green's release, he said.
The DNA tests were obtained by Barry Scheck and the Innocence Project at Cardozo Law School in New York City. The nonprofit organization uses DNA evidence in an effort to free people who have been wrongfully convicted.
Green had been working with Scheck's team of lawyers since 1997 to prove his innocence, and DNA findings came back in August.
Common Pleas Judge Anthony O. Calabrese Jr. scheduled a hearing for Sept. 27, after which he could free Green. Calabrese also could decide that sufficient doubt about Green's innocence exists and could order a new trial.
``Hopefully, by then, the judge will be in a position to vacate the sentence and Mr. Green can be freed,'' said defense attorney Elizabeth Kelley.