New Orleans man’s exoneration aided by DNA after 12 years in prison, his lawyers say

New Orleans man’s exoneration aided by DNA after 12 years in prison, his lawyers say

A New Orleans man will spend the holidays with his family after 12 years in prison for a murder he did not commit, his attorneys with the Innocence Project New Orleans said Thursday. The conviction was the result of a one-day Judge trial his lawyers say relied on a single eyewitness who was at her home when intruders committed the murder. But IPNO says that the witness tried to correct her mistaken identification of Gordon prior to his conviction, to no avail. IPNO announced the exoneration of Kendall Gordon, 31, after a hearing Thursday morning during which Orleans Criminal District Judge Kimya Holmes agreed to a joint motion from IPNO and Orleans Parish District’s Attorney’s Office to vacate the conviction. Gordon was 18 when he was arrested in August 2009 and charged with second-degree murder. His son was 1. IPNO sought post-conviction relief on his behalf in 2019, and successfully obtained DNA testing. The testing excluded him as a suspect, along with other evidence of innocence, IPNO said in a news release. “I’m relieved that Mr. Gordon will reunite with his family for Christmas. This will be a Christmas his family will never forget,” IPNO attorney Kirschelle McGowan said. “However, Mr. Gordon lost 12 critical years of his life, and of his son’s life, that he can never get back, simply because the State chose not to listen to the victim… Both of these families have suffered tremendously during this ordeal.”IPNO says Gordon is the fourth person their firm has helped exonerate this year in Orleans Parish, which the National Registry of Exonerations says leads the nation for its per capita wrongful conviction rate.

A New Orleans man will spend the holidays with his family after 12 years in prison for a murder he did not commit, his attorneys with the Innocence Project New Orleans said Thursday.

The conviction was the result of a one-day Judge trial his lawyers say relied on a single eyewitness who was at her home when intruders committed the murder. But IPNO says that the witness tried to correct her mistaken identification of Gordon prior to his conviction, to no avail.

IPNO announced the exoneration of Kendall Gordon, 31, after a hearing Thursday morning during which Orleans Criminal District Judge Kimya Holmes agreed to a joint motion from IPNO and Orleans Parish District’s Attorney’s Office to vacate the conviction. Gordon was 18 when he was arrested in August 2009 and charged with second-degree murder. His son was 1.

IPNO sought post-conviction relief on his behalf in 2019, and successfully obtained DNA testing. The testing excluded him as a suspect, along with other evidence of innocence, IPNO said in a news release.

“I’m relieved that Mr. Gordon will reunite with his family for Christmas. This will be a Christmas his family will never forget,” IPNO attorney Kirschelle McGowan said. “However, Mr. Gordon lost 12 critical years of his life, and of his son’s life, that he can never get back, simply because the State chose not to listen to the victim… Both of these families have suffered tremendously during this ordeal.”

IPNO says Gordon is the fourth person their firm has helped exonerate this year in Orleans Parish, which the National Registry of Exonerations says leads the nation for its per capita wrongful conviction rate.

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