September 13th, 2011
On Sept 12, 2011, a Utah judge issued an order of factual innocence for Harry Miller, the second person exonerated under Utah’s exoneration statute, passed in 2009. Miller was convicted in 2003 of a robbery that had been committed three years earlier. At the time of the robbery, the victim stated that her attacker was 18 to 21 years old and fit. Miller was 47 years old and had medical and employment records proving that he was in Louisiana recovering from a stroke both two weeks before and the week after the robbery. Miller served three and a half years in prison before he was released in 2007. Because Utah did not have an exoneration statute at that time, upon his release, Miller was given no assistance from the state. He was destitute and could not afford to return home to Louisiana.
Under Utah’s exoneration statute, a person determined to be factually innocent of the offense for which he or she was convicted is entitled to state compensation. Miller will receive $124,000.
Miller is currently living in Utah, doing landscaping work for Salt Lake County. Now that he has been exonerated, he hopes to return to Louisiana, where he plans to live “like an old man, enjoying [his] grandkids.” Congratulations to Mr. Miller and to the Rocky Mountain Innocence Center, which helped secure his exoneration.