Anthony Miller is a free man after a New York appeals court ruled he was wrongly arrested, convicted and imprisoned for a street robbery.
Miller returned home after 6 1/2 years of incarceration, thanks to a renewed investigation that concluded he was wrongly identified for the crime.
“It used to be normal for me to be out here,” said Miller looking down the street in his neighborhood. “Hanging, playing basketball, cooking out, or getting ready to go somewhere.”
The crime involved Jack Moseley being robbed at gun-point for cash, a pack of cigarettes, and an iPhone. The robber was described as a 5-foot-9-inch young Black man wearing a grey hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans. Miller is four inches shorter and had on a red hoodie and black pants at the time he was apprehended, according to the article.
Moseley falsely identified Miller as the thief.
Miller felt his actual innocence would free him. He rejected a 3½ year plea deal and accepted a public defender as counsel. He was convicted by a jury and sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Miller spent time in the library researching similar cases and contacted a conviction integrity organization. He gained notice by filing motions and contacting news organizations about his case.
District Attorney Sandra Doorley created the Monroe County Conviction Integrity Unit in 2019 to review claims of actual innocence. It was her unit that reviewed the case of Anthony Miller.
The appeals court ruled, “There is considerable objective evidence supporting the defendant’s innocence. The defendant was found standing in a driveway half a mile away from the crime scene only seven minutes after it occurred, wearing clothing different from the clothing worn by the gunman. He was not in possession of the fruits of the crime or a firearm.”
Miller was freed four days later.
But freedom looks different to him now. The young dreamer that he used to be has been replaced by a more wary man. He’s careful about what he wears, where he goes, and how long he lingers with anyone. All those things can be triggering for him.
“Inaccurate witness identifications contributed to 784 of the 2,783 cases in the National Registry of Exoneration. Of those 784 cases, 508 wrongfully convicted were Black — two-thirds of all cases,” said the article.
“According to the National Registry of Exoneration, innocent Black people spend an average of 13.8 years wrongly imprisoned before being exonerated — about 45% longer than innocent Whites,” the article reported.