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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

In Maryland, Efforts to Streamline Exonerations Stymied

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Sabein Burgess wasted no time trying to prove his innocence.

Convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in June 1995, the then-24-year-old waited just 10 days after his trial before filing a motion for a new one.

The act was his first step in a battle that would last 19 years, during which the Baltimore resident would spend the prime of his life in a jail cell.

“From the day I was locked up, I was saying I was innocent,” Burgess, now 46, said. “From the night I spent in homicide to the day I came home (from prison).”

Baltimore City prosecutors had charged Burgess with the murder of his then-girlfriend, Michelle Dyson, whom he discovered fatally shot in the basement of her Baltimore home that fall. Evidence against him included gunpowder residue discovered on his hands; none was ever found on his body or clothes, according to the National Registry of Exonerations.

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