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California court cites DNA, overturns murder conviction

September 4, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A man who has spent 33 years in prison may be freed after a California appeals court overturned his murder conviction based on new DNA testing.

The Northern California Innocence Project said the Sixth District Court of Appeal overturned Jack Sagin’s conviction last month after lawyers showed his DNA was absent from the victim’s nails and other crime scene evidence.

Sagin was convicted in 1986 of the murder of Paula Durocher, largely based on testimony from two jailhouse informants.

In 2009, the Monterey County Superior Court allowed post-conviction DNA testing of evidence collected from the crime scene.

In August, the appellate court vacated Sagin’s conviction, saying the evidence likely would have changed the outcome of his trial.

The Monterey County District Attorney’s office did not have immediate comment Wednesday.

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