BOISE, Idaho — 26 years after being convicted of killing his foster mother, Lacino Hamilton walked out of a Michigan prison a free man. New DNA analysis by professor Greg Hampikian and Boise State University's Forensic Justice Project helped free Hamilton this week.
Judge Tracy Green offered an apology before releasing Hamilton on Wednesday, Sept. 30. Hampikian says DNA evidence was not disclosed during Hamilton's 1995 trial and he was convicted based on the word of a fellow inmate.
“I called the lawyers and told them, ‘I think he’s going home,’” said Hampikian. “The victim has held this identity since 1994. It set her foster son free.”
Hampikian credits many people and agencies for their work towards Hamilton’s release including his attorneys, the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office Conviction Integrity Unit and the Western Michigan University Cooley Law School Innocence Project.
Hamilton intends to spend his life advocating for social justice issues, said Hampikian. Hamilton and members of his legal team will discuss his case in detail on the Oct. 14 episode of the podcast Constitutional Defenders.