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Innocence Project Deeply Disappointed that Missouri AG Is Appealing the Court’s Decision Granting Habeas Relief to George Allen Jr.

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Allen spent more than 30 years in prison for a rape and murder that new evidence, including DNA results, shows he didn’t commit 
Contact:  Alana Massie, 917-287-8007, amassie@innocenceproject.org 
(ST. LOUIS, MO - November 7, 2012) — Hours after the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office decided not to retry George Allen Jr. for the rape and murder conviction that was overturned last week, the Missouri Attorney General’s Office announced it will appeal the court decision overturning the conviction.

On Friday, Cole County Judge Daniel Green vacated Allen’s conviction based on the state’s failure to disclose numerous pieces of evidence that point to Allen’s innocence and Attorney General Chris Koster’s decision potentially keeps Allen in prison beyond the three decades he has served already—all at the expense of the taxpayers.

“We are deeply disappointed that the Attorney General’s Office is appealing Judge Green’s ruling,” said Barry Scheck, Co-Director of the Innocence Project, which is affiliated with Cardozo School of Law. “This appeal is wholly without merit and needlessly drags out this extended litigation and potentially blocks George Allen’s release from prison.”

In order for the Attorney General to win this appeal he needs to show that the trial court abused its discretion in granting habeas relief and acted arbitrarily and unreasonably in doing so. In the meantime, the Attorney General’s appeal could keep Allen in prison until the Western District Court of Appeals’ can rule on the appeal. Allen’s attorneys will, however, ask that Allen be released on bail while the litigation is pending.

“The exculpatory evidence that resulted in Allen’s overturned conviction cannot be refuted. The semen excluded him. Fingerprints excluded him. And the court determined his false confession was unconvincing from the start,” said Scheck. “We are hopeful that the Court of Appeals will quickly recognize the appeal as a delay of the inevitable and rule to release Allen once and for all so he can be reunited with his family and finally receive the justice he is owed.” 

Allen is represented by Scheck and Staff Attorney Olga Akselrod of the Innocence Project and Ameer Gado, Dan Harvath and Associate Tim O’Connell with Bryan Cave, LLP. Rosa Greenbaum of Sarasota, Florida also provided pro bono investigation assistance.

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The Innocence Project, which is affiliated with Cardozo School of Law, is a national litigation and public policy organization dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted individuals through DNA testing and reforming the criminal justice system to prevent future injustices. For more information on the Innocence Project, visit www.innocenceproject.org.