Tuesday, May 17, 2022

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Man who spent 20 years in jail for crime committed by twin, regains freedom

An American man has been released from prison after spending nearly 20 years for a murder his identical twin brother confessed to.

According to the New York Post, Kevin Dugar was wrongfully convicted in the 2003 fatal shooting of a rival gang member.

However, Dugar’s identical twin brother, Karl Smith, confessed that he was responsible for the deadly shooting in 2016, raising hope of his brother’s release.

Dugar’s hope was dashed in 2018 when a judge ruled that the admission of Smith, who was already serving a 99-year sentence for a home invasion that left a child shot in the head, wasn’t credible and declined to offer his twin a new trial.

It was reported that the prosecutor at the time said Smith had “nothing to lose” due to the length of his sentence — and he was sceptical of the twin’s sudden admission.

Another judge recently started reviewing Dugar’s case after the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University appealed it.

After almost 20 years in jail, Dugar regained his freedom from the Cook County Jail in Chicago on Tuesday night after a motion for bond was granted, his lawyer, Ronald Safer.

“The Court of Appeals found that there is a strong probability that a jury hearing all of the evidence would likely find Kevin not guilty,” Dugar’s attorney said.

“He is overjoyed to be free but is also adjusting to a world that is quite different from the world he left 20 years ago when he was arrested for this crime he did not commit,” the attorney said Thursday.

“We are hopeful that the State does the right thing and dismisses this case. But if the State persists, we look forward to vindicating Kevin at trial,” the attorney said.

However, Dugar will live in a residential transitional facility due to the condition for his release.

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