Hassan Bennett, Representing Himself, Acquitted of Murder After 13 Years in Prison

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For nearly 13 years, as he sat in prison, Hassan Bennett insisted that he was innocent of the September 2006 murder of one man and shooting of another in West Philadelphia. After four trials, Bennett was acquitted and set free.

It has been a long road to freedom for Bennett, who was accused of fatally shooting his friend, 19-year-old Devon English, and wounding 18-year-old Corey Ford. Bennett maintained that he was on the phone with a friend at home when he heard shots, and ran to the scene of the crime. Lamont Dade, 16, was also arrested in the shooting, the Washington Post reported.

Dade and Ford both identified Bennett as the shooter during their initial statements to police. Both recanted during trials and claimed that Philadelphia homicide Detective James Pitts coerced them into accusing Bennett.

Bennett’s first trial ended in a mistrial, he was found guilty in…

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