The state Supreme Court has denied a previously granted expungement request from the first Pennsylvania inmate to be released through post-conviction DNA evidence.
In a split decision in Commonwealth v. Moto, Justice Seamus P. McCaffery said the trial court, which had initially denied Vincent A. Moto’s request, was right to have done so based on the strong prosecution case even without the DNA evidence. Moto was awarded a new trial after spending 10 years in jail on rape, robbery and criminal conspiracy when new DNA testing revealed semen from three different men, none of whom were Moto. The prosecutors declined to try him a second time, arguing that while the lack of his semen didn’t exonerate him, the state couldn’t locate a key witness.
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