Though it sometimes takes many years, someone who is innocent should always have the opportunity to fight for their freedom. Sometimes, the courts do get things wrong, especially decades ago when racism often played a part in the criminal justice system.

Take, for example, this case in which a 64-year-old man is now walking free thanks to a vacated sentence. The man had been accused of burglary and rape in a case in 1976, and he was sentenced to life behind bars when he was found guilty.

Since the man’s conviction, it was determined that there had been deliberate police suppression of evidence, which would have helped the man walk away with his innocence many years ago. Just one of the piece of evidence, fingerprints, for example, could have shown his innocence since they did not match.

An announcement like this almost always makes national news because it’s just one more example of how the justice system fails some people. This man was wrongfully convicted and went to prison for 44 years when he should have been free.

It’s always important to have a strong criminal defense attorney on your side to prevent problems like suppressed evidence from affecting your case. Your attorney is there to reduce the risk of bias, such as what happened in this case when there was an all-white jury against the black defendant. If you do face a conviction, it’s important that you have an attorney on your side who is able to defend your rights and protect you against the worst-case outcomes. Your freedoms are on the line, and you deserve the best support.