A man in the US, who spent 25 years in prison for a wrongful conviction in a gang rape case, was released after new DNA evidence established his innocence. Leaving the past behind, the 63-year-old father of four is now looking forward to his life out of prison.
Darryl Pinkins was released from Lake County Jail in Crown Point to be home in time for his daughter's 26th birthday, 5NBC Chicago reported.
The steel mill worker was 38 when he was convicted by a jury in a 1989 case of the gang rape of a woman in Gary, Indiana. His friend, Roosevelt Glenn, who was with him on the day of the crime was also convicted and sentenced in the case. However, Glenn was paroled in 2009, but the rape conviction remains on his record.
On the day of the rape, both Pinkins and Glenn were travelling in a car, but their car suddenly broke down. When they left the car and went to fetch help, their coveralls were stolen from the vehicle, which were later recovered from the scene of the gang rape. The woman was reportedly raped by five men.
Pinkins reportedly made several appeals in the past, but failed to earn his freedom. The latest DNA evidence, however, proved that he was not involved in the crime. His lawyer was quoted by the newswire as saying that the new DNA analysis conclusively excluded his client's DNA from those of the rapists.
Calling the evidence "irrefutable", Lake Country Prosecutor Bernard Carter reportedly said: "If we took this to trial, we would lose. I feel very confident in that and that's why I dismissed the case after review."
Coming out of the prison, Pinkins said: "It feels good. It feels real good," the 5NBC Chicago report added.
"Unfortunately [that time] is something we'll never get back," Pinkins was quoted as saying. "What we have to look forward to is what we do from this point on and how much love we put into each day," he added.