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Californian grandmother wrongly jailed for 17 years is freed

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Californian grandmother wrongly jailed for 17 years is freed

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A 59-year-old grandmother from California who spent 17 years in jail for a murder she did not commit has been freed.

Susan Mellen was found guilty in 1998 of killing her ex-boyfriend the year before.

A local lawyer who runs an ‘innocence project’ had found major credibility issues with the trial’s main prosecution witness.

A judge overturned Mellen’s conviction, saying the original witness was a woman known to be a “habitual liar.”

“I believe, based on what I read, that she is innocent and for that reason I think the criminal justice system failed,” Judge Mark Arnold told the court.

On the steps of the court house, Susan Mellen said: “I am still overwhelmed. I am shaking. I think I haven’t had my breakdown yet either, I keep crying and then it stops.”

She will now have a chance to get to know her grandson, born while she was inside, and to be with the family and friends who fought so hard to get her out.