Sentenced to 400 years of innocence. A Florida man is released from prison after 34 years in prison
Sidney Holmes, a 57-year-old man who was sentenced to 400 years in prison for armed robbery in Broward in 1988, is due to be released Monday after more than 34 years behind bars, NBC Miami reported.
The planned release follows a request from the Broward State Attorney’s Office Conviction Review Unit.
According to reports, Holmes contacted the unit in November 2020, claiming his innocence in the June 19, 1988, armed robbery of two people outside a convenience store on Northwest 6th Street.
The 57-year-old from Lauderhill was arrested in October 1988. In 1989 he was sentenced to 400 years in prison. The jury then found him guilty of involvement in the robbery of a man and a woman. Holmes was to be their driver.
The Conviction Review Unit conducted an investigation which found that Holmes’ guilt was based on shaky evidence, the main one being an eyewitness account that was difficult to corroborate. Holmes was misidentified by an eyewitness based on photographs and a procedure often used by the police in those years.
Investigators said that, apart from the recognition of Holmes by an eyewitness during the presentation, there was no evidence linking the convict to the robbery. Previously, the police were supposed to be wrong, incorrectly identifying Holmes’s car as the attacker’s vehicle – the cars were confusingly similar.
Holmes was scheduled to leave prison in 2232.
Broward District Judge Edward Merrigan signed an order Monday morning approving the Broward State Attorney’s Office and the Innocence Project’s motion to overturn Holmes’s conviction.