A Maryland man has been exonerated of murder after spending 30 years in prison based on the false testimony of a jailhouse informant.
Paul Madison, 60, was convicted of second-degree murder and handgun charges for the December 1990 murder of William Richardson.
“This conviction rested on outdated and questionable practices,” said State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby. In 2020, Mosby campaigned to pass a Jailhouse Informant Law in Maryland prohibiting testimony from incarcerated informants.
“[M]y Conviction Integrity Unit moved to vacate the conviction,” Mosby said in an Oxygen.com story Dec. 22, 2021 .
The jailhouse informant claimed Madison and his co-defendant, Clarence Colston, were at the murder scene in Baltimore’s Cherry Hill neighborhood where Richardson, 35, was found dead outside of his vehicle with a gunshot wound to the head. A tip later received by police implicated the informant’s possible involvement in Richardson’s murder, wrote the Baltimore Sun.
The judge’s decision to vacate the sentence was based on the witness’ lack of credibility and a statement made by an incarcerated individual claiming that “Colston described the murder but said Madison was not involved,” reported the Sun.
This is the 12th release spearheaded by the State Attorney’s Conviction Integrity Unit. It has since launched a project called the “Faces of Innocence,” a public awareness campaign.
“Mr. Madison is thankful to be home for the first time in more than 30 years,” said Todd Kimmelman, deputy director of the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project. ”It’s been a tough ordeal, but he never lost his faith that he would be exonerated.”