Prosecutors Opt Against New Trial for Exoneration Project Clinic

Man convicted of murder based on testimony of blind witness wins freedom as prosecutors opt against new trial

Two weeks after a Cook County judge overturned his murder conviction, Darien Harris won back his freedom Tuesday after prosecutors said they will not retry him in a fatal shooting at a South Side gas station.

Harris was an 18-year-old high school senior with a clean criminal record when prosecutors charged him in an ambush-style attack that left one man dead and another seriously injured in June 2011. His conviction was based in part on the testimony of an eyewitness who turned out to be legally blind.

Now 30, Harris spent the last 12 years behind bars fighting for a new trial. He has long maintained his innocence, saying he was at home watching LeBron James play in the NBA finals between the Miami Heat and the Dallas Mavericks.

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