TN Man Freed–But Not Exonerated–In ’85 Murder


A Tennessee man who spent 22 years on death row for the murder of a housewife was legally set free in a surprise announcement by a district attorney, reports the Knoxville News Sentinel. The inmate, Paul House, did get a full exoneration, however. Prosecutor Paul Phillips instead told a judge that “the latest forensic technology” had cemented his belief that House had some role in the July 1985 slaying of Carolyn Muncey but also convinced him “others may have been involved.”

“The state can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that (House) was involved in the crime ()but the new evidence, including the forensic examinations, raises a reasonable doubt that he acted alone (and) whether (his) involvement was as a principal, accomplice or an accessory to the crime,” Phillips said. “What do you expect them to say?” House countered later Monday. House, a paroled rapist caught in blood-stained jeans, seemed the perfect suspect in the murder. He was convicted and sentenced to die, then spent 22 years on death row. Eventually, the Innocence Project made the case that new DNA testing showed that semen on Muncey's clothes belonged to her husband.

Comments are closed.