In a motion filed earlier this week, New Haven State’s Attorney Michael Dearington and Assistant State’s Attorney Timothy J. Sugrue, asked that Johnson’s 2007 murder conviction be set aside, explaining that the state no longer felt confident in the judgement.
The totality of the information developed to date, and presently available, while falling short of proof of actual innocence, has sufficiently undermined the state’s confidence in the judgment of conviction that justice is best served by setting that judgment aside and restoring the case to the Superior Court docket.
Dearington also agreed that Johnson’s confession, given when he was only 16 years old, “may not have been voluntary.” According to Johnson’s attorneys, Kenneth Rosenthal and Darcy McGraw of the Connecticut Innocence Project, Johnson’s confession was coerced by detectives who falsified documents and suppressed evidence of alternate suspects. Now 25-years-old, Johnson served nearly a decade in prison before being released. He was sentenced to serve 38 years.