"Rebuilding the Lives of the Wrongfully Convicted"

AP: Emotional moment as brothers - wrongfully convicted of murder - are officially cleared after 25 YEARS in prison

Two brothers who were imprisoned for 25 years  for the murder of a Detroit marijuana dealer and released last year only to  await a retrial and possible re-imprisonment have now had their names cleared  for good.

The murder charges against Raymond, 47, and  Thomas Highers, 48, will be dismissed thanks to a lack of evidence pinning them  to the 1987 crime.

The case is expected to be officially dropped  Thursday by Wayne County, Michigan Circuit Court Judge Lawrence Talon, the same  judge who ordered the brothers be released after a quarter century in prison on  August 13, 2012 after new evidence warranted a retrial.

Talon ordered a new trial for the brothers  and let them out on bond after new witness testimony suggested they may have  been misidentified in the 1987 slaying of 65-year-old Robert Karey in his east  side Detroit home.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy appealed  the ruling to the state Court of Appeals, which declined to reverse it. The case  was scheduled for trial on Oct. 8.

‘Just as we did 26 years ago, we firmly  believe in the evidence in this case,’ Worthy said Wednesday in a release. ‘We  have worked diligently to bring this case to trial. With the passage of time it  is an unfortunate reality that this case cannot be put back together and we must  dismiss it.’

The brothers got the news that their  26-year-long saga was over from their attorney. Raymond was at work while Tommy  was having lunch with his girlfriend.

Justice: 'Being able to correct an injustice, there¿s no  greater feeling,' defense attorney Valerie Newman said.'They would have died in  prison. It¿s a testament to the human character that they hold no  bitterness.'

‘I’m just elated,’ Tommy told the Detroit Free Press.  ‘It means a fresh start for me. It means freedom for me to do the things I want  to do, to visit family in other states. I have no felony conviction on my  record.’

His little brother, of course,  agreed.

‘It means freedom and life. It’s been a long  day coming,’ Raymond said. ‘Over 26 years, we’ve fought for this, and it’s  finally here. It’s like being vindicated.’