It has been more than six years since Walter Swift was exonerated of rape based on DNA evidence, but he still doesn’t feel justice has been served. WJBK- FOX Detroit reported that Swift, who spent nearly 26 years behind bars before being freed in 2008, and is now bankrupt, has yet to be compensated for his wrongful conviction from the city of Detroit. According to human rights attorney Julie Hurwitz, who is fighting for Swift’s justice, his current bankruptcy could stand in the way of receiving compensation.
Swift was convicted of a 1982 rape based in part on a highly questionable eyewitness identification and incomplete forensic testimony and sentenced to 20-40 years behind bars. The Innocence Project accepted Swift’s case in 1998 and began requesting searches for the biological evidence in the case. Although all evidence in the case had been lost or destroyed, the investigation began to uncover solid evidence of Swift’s innocence. He was freed a decade later when the prosecutor who originally convicted him and the former police officer who testified at his trial, filed affidavits in support of vacating his conviction.
He describes his release as a whirlwind and though he was finally free and able to celebrate with his grown daughter who was only a year old when he was convicted, reality set in quickly and the adjustment to a free life was challenging.