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Former Death Row Inmate Is Now Free

By Kevin Lavery, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – Joseph Amrine was sentenced to death in 1986 for the murder of a fellow prison inmate at the Potosi Correctional Center. Last April, the Missouri Supreme Court overturned his conviction after finding a lack of credible evidence against him.

Amrine's release date was delayed after Cole County Prosecutor Bill Tackett received an extension to study a blood sample on Amrine's clothes. But the evidence has proved inconclusive and Amrine is now a free man.

Now, Tackett says the sample did not contain enough usable DNA to warrant a retrial.

"What we came up with was inconclusive," Tackett said. "It was the only piece of physical evidence that would've shed new light on the case and given it the potential for being proven beyond a reasonable doubt, because the witnesses have all recanted."

Amrine is the third death row inmate to be exonerated in Missouri since the reinstatement of capital punishment in 1977.

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