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Under a spotlight: corrupted conviction soon to be set aside?

Anthony Sanborn Jr. knew he was innocent.

And now, more than a quarter century after he was sent to prison following his criminal conviction for a grisly murder, others know it, too.

Sadly, justice sometimes has to take that long to surface. And when it does, it undeniably begs the question of how many others there are like Sanborn -- locked away for decades following incriminating evidence later revealed as false and corrupted in myriad ways.

Sanborn was a teenager back in 1989, when a fellow teen identified him at trial as the murderer of a young girl.

Flash forward multiple decades to just last month, when that same witness -- now, like Sanborn, a middle-aged adult -- pulled back dramatically from statements she made at trial as a juvenile.

As noted in a media account updating the case, she "recanted her testimony entirely." In fact, it was reported that she "had serious vision problems that were uncorrected at the time of the murder," a material fact that the prosecution never shared with Sanborn's defense team.

The judge at a recent hearing for Sanborn freed him on bail pending an upcoming conviction review. In doing so, she stated a high likelihood that his conviction will be set aside.

That might be even more likely now than was the case just a month ago, in the wake of new revelations that serious chain-of-custody issues existed in Sanborn's investigation. It has been established that boxes of original case files and physical evidence were kept in the lead detective's home and were just recently retrieved from his attic and turned over to Sanborn's attorney. That evidence was never shared with Sanborn's legal counsel during his investigation or trial.

The evidence is explosive, Sanborn's lawyer states, providing "conclusive proof of some really bad behavior on the part of the state actors who handled this case."

Sanborn, who is awaiting his post-conviction review, was been free on bail since April 13.

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