In 1989, Huwe Burton found his mother lying in her blood. His mom, Keziah, had been brutally stabbed, a knife resting near her body. When Burton called the police, he quickly became the prime suspect. He was coerced into a confession and then spent nearly 20 years in jail for a crime he staunchly reported he did not commit. Now, his record will be wiped clean. 

Keziah’s car had also been missing following her murder. A few days later, police pulled over one of the Burtons' tenants in Keziah’s missing car. Emmanuel Green, the tenant, also had a history of violence. Still, Huwe Burton was the prime suspect. One of Burton’s defense lawyers even added that Green was the only person who knew the knife found beside Keziah was not the knife that killed her. Green, however, was killed in the aftermath of a love triangle.

In 2009, Burton was released from jail after spending nearly two decades behind bars. 

The Innocence Project took over his case, asking the Bronx district attorney's conviction integrity unit to review Burton's conviction. While Burton can never get those years back, at the very least, his record is now clean. 

“The bald lie that Huwe Burton killed his mother is dead forever," said famed lawyer Barry Scheck.

Black teenagers have continued to be framed for murder and other crimes.

Just recently, Miami teen Deandre Charles sued the Miami-Dade Police Department for wrongfully accusing him of murdering a rabbi. Charles spent nearly a year in jail because of the faulty actions of the department. The villainization of Black people is neither new nor uncommon. 

Like many others in his position, Burton has dedicated his life to helping those who have been unjustly accused and incarcerated because of a broken system. 

“My mother taught me to respect the law, and law enforcement,” he said. “…she wasn't respected by law, or law enforcement.” 

And neither was he.

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