With the consent of the Philadelphia district attorney, a Court of Common Pleas judge today granted Anthony Wright’s motion to overturn his convictions. Wright served 23 years for a rape and murder that new DNA testing reveals was committed by another man with a long criminal history. In addition, DNA testing of clothing alleged by police to have been worn by Wright to commit the crime, now shows that the clothes were not, in fact, his.
“You are now presumed innocent until proven guilty,” said Judge D. Webster. Wright wiped away his tears as the judge announced his ruling.
Police claimed that after merely 14 minutes in custody, Wright voluntarily gave a full and complete signed confession of the 1991 rape and murder of 77-year-old North Philadelphia resident Louise Talley. Wright, however, who was just 20 years old when he was arrested, has always maintained his innocence and testified that he only signed the alleged confession, which the police wrote out, after the interrogating detectives threatened him with bodily harm. Subsequent to securing the confession, police also claimed that they recovered from Wright’s home the bloody clothes that Wright wore on the night of the crime. DNA testing now proves that the clothing actually belonged to the victim, which raises serious questions about where the police actually recovered the clothing.