The Latest: Lawyer thinks deal exonerates 4 in Alaska death
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The latest in the case of four men known as the Fairbanks Four, who were convicted in the 1997 beating death of an Alaska teenager (all times local):
An attorney in a high-profile Alaska case involving a teenager’s 1997 beating death says he disagrees with the state, and believes a settlement reached this week exonerates the four men convicted in the case.
Alaska Innocence Project attorney Bill Oberly says the indigenous men, known as the Fairbanks Four, can check the “no” box on future job applications asking if they’re convicted felons.
Alaska Attorney General Craig Richards says the deal is not exoneration.
After the agreement was reached Thursday, the three remaining jailed men were released.
The men have long maintained their innocence. They were seeking to have their convictions overturned in civil court when the state made a surprise offer to free them. In exchange, the four are barred from suing various government entities.
Many Alaska Natives believe the men’s convictions were racially based.