Man released from prison, served for crime he didn't commit

Man released from prison, served for crime he didn't commit

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(WJBK) - You can hear shouts of relief, joy and exhilaration as Donya Davis walked out of the Wayne County Jail Friday. The father of 12 children served almost seven years in prison for a 2006 rape even though DNA evidence points to another man and excludes him.

"There's been three DNA tests and I've passed them all," he says.

"The first miracle in a DNA case is that the evidence is still around and, thankfully, the evidence in Donya's case was around," says Marla Mitchell-Cichon of The Innocence Project.

Davis's first trial ended with a mistrial and he was convicted in a second trial.

In 2013, The Innocence Project and students from Cooley Law School sought the DNA testing and won.

It turns out, some evidence was never even tested by the Detroit crime lab. The Innocence Project asked for a new trial and the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office did not object, so Davis was released.

He describes the last seven years as hell,

When asked what he wants to say about the students at Cooley Law, he says, "I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for them. I tried and I tried everything. Until they came nothing happened," Davis says.

"We have put our heart and soul into this and we are so thankful for this day, and we are going to do everything in our power to make sure that justice is achieved in this case," says Mitchell-Cichon.

The Innocence Project has screened more than 5,000 cases since 2001.

"I missed graduations; I missed birthdays; I missed everything. Period. Something that I'm never going to get back. I'm not complaining about it, but it hurts," Davis says.

In spite of all the excitement, Davis's fight for freedom is not over yet. We're told a pretrial date has been set and he could still face a third trial.
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