Exonerated Inmates to Be Released on April 1 | NBC Connecticut

Exonerated Inmates to Be Released on April 1

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    NEWSLETTERS

    These men have been exonerated. Now they await word on when they will be free.

    Ronald Taylor, 51, and George Gould, 48, will be walking out of prison on April 1.  

    They were convicted in 1993 of killing New Haven shop owner Eugenio Deleon Vega and served 16 years in prison, but a judge overturned the conviction after a key witness recanted, called the two men victims of a "manifest injustice” and said they should be released from prison immediately.
     
    But then, on Monday, a state appeals court temporarily put off the men's releases, citing an automatic stay of court rulings.  

    On Wednesday, a hearing was held in Rockville Superior Court to decide on motions by Taylor and Gould to vacate the stay.

    Prosecutors wanted the two men to stay locked up as they appeal.  "I believe that we will prevail," said Michael O'Hare, the prosecutor on the case.

    Attorneys for Taylor and Gould argued for their immediate release.  One of the men, Taylor, is suffering from liver cancer.

    "A delay of one day to a man that does not know how many days he has to live is cruel, your Honor, and amounts to an unconscionable delay," said Peter Tsimbidaros, who represents Taylor.

    "The individual who really committed this crime is walking around arguably in the streets of New Haven being unaccosted by the prosecutorial authorities," said Joseph Visone, who represents Gould. 

    The judge ruled that the prisoners can be released as prosecutors prepare an appeal but he stayed the order for ten days. They were supposed to be released on April 2, but that is a holiday so the courts will be closed.  Instead, they'll be released on April 1, which is the last business day during that ten day period. 

    Family members expressed relief that Taylor and Gould will soon walk free, but said they are frustrated that it won't be immediate.

    "He wishes his father was here to see it, but we're here and we'll welcome him home," said Mary Taylor, who is Ronald Taylor's wife.  "We will just live a very quiet, peaceful life when he does come home on April 1.  In fact, it's our wedding anniversary."

    "I can't wait.  That is my son and I love him," said Martha Gould, who is George Gould's mother.  "He's the sweetest person that you could know."   

    The judge set conditions for their release, including G.P.S. monitoring and a $100,000 non-surety bond, which means they won't have to put up any money before their release.