State files to keep suspect from “The Innocent Man” in prison

Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 2:10 PM CDT
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OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (KSWO) - The Oklahoma Attorney General’s office ordered a stay in a man’s murder case after a district judge vacated his life sentence and called for his release.

Tommy Ward’s case was the focus of the 2018 Netflix documentary “The Innocent Man.” Ward has been in prison for 35 years and has maintained his innocence throughout.

In the documentary, investigative techniques by Ada police were blamed for a coerced confession.

The Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office has filed a stay in the case that was also upheld by the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals.

It orders Ward to remain in prison while he awaits a re-trial.

The acting Attorney General called the district judge’s decision to vacate the judgement an “abuse of discretion with no basis in Oklahoma post-conviction law.”

Ward’s defense team has 30 days to respond to the stay order, or risk having the reversal thrown out.

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