More than two years after his convictions were first vacated by a North Carolina court, our client Darryl Howard was finally exonerated in September 2016. Mr. Howard always maintained that he did not commit the 1991 double-murder and arson, and no physical evidence connected him to the crime. He was convicted based on inconsistent and contradictory witness testimony. His case includes numerous indications of prosecutorial misconduct beginning at the original trial prosecuted by former Durham district attorney Mike Nifong, who was later disbarred for misconduct in the 2006 case against members of the Duke University lacrosse team.
DNA and other evidence proving Mr. Howard’s innocence led the court to throw out his convictions in 2014, but he remained in prison for two more years while the district attorney’s office appealed the decision. The IP presented evidence excluding Mr. Howard and linking two other people to the crime scene. The court again vacated the convictions and ordered him released after more than 24 years in prison. Two days later, the district attorney’s office dismissed all charges. Mr. Howard was reunited with his wife Nannie, who supported him through his 24 years in prison. They are pictured here on the day he was exonorated.