Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Fairbanks Four Could Be Released If They Agree to Not Sue State

After nearly 20 years behind bars, George Frese, Kevin Pease and Eugene Vent could be released from prison soon. They and a fourth man, Marvin Roberts, who was paroled in June, were convicted for a fatal assault they have repeatedly said they didn’t commit. Under the terms of the deal, the crime would be removed from their records.

In a proposed settlement filed by attorneys for the state and the four men, December 11 in Fairbanks Superior Court, the state would dismiss its 1997 indictment against the men, and Frese, Pease and Vent would be immediately freed.

However, in the agreement, the state contests “the factual and legal assertions” made by the men in their petition to have their convictions overturned, including “allegations of police and prosecutorial misconduct,” and “reserves the ability to file charges in the future and seek a retrial only if substantial new evidence of guilt is discovered.”

The agreement states, “The parties have not reached agreement as to [the men’s] actual guilt or innocence” and nothing in the agreement “shall be deemed an admission of liability or responsibility on the part” of the state or the four men.

Under the proposed agreement, the men would withdraw “all claims of actual innocence and all claims and allegations … of police and prosecutorial misconduct,” although in a follow-up notice filed by the Fairbanks Four’s attorneys, the men “strongly disagree” with the withdrawal-of-innocence-claims provision and “have maintained, and will always maintain, that they are innocent of the crimes for which they were convicted.”

Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2015/12/15/fairbanks-four-could-be-released-if-they-agree-not-sue-state-162774

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