Convicted of criminal sexual conduct in 1986, Karl is serving a 10- to 50-year sentence. Karl has been eligible for parole since 1994, but has maintained his innocence, and thus remains in prison. Upon investigating his case, the Clinic discovered that there was strong evidence of his innocence, including scientific blood evidence that irrefutably excludes Karl as a possible suspect in the crime for which he was convicted. This evidence existed for years, but Karl's pleas to have it tested were ignored. Finally, the evidence was tested and Karl was ruled out as a suspect in February 2009. The Clinic conducted confirmatory testing in June 2009, which again established that Karl could not have committed the rape for which he has been in prison more than 24 years.
A year after the Clinic obtained irrefutable, scientific proof of his innocence, however, Karl remains in prison. Judge Vera Massey Jones of the Wayne County Circuit Court refused to grant his motion for relief from judgment. His case is now pending before the Michigan Court of Appeals, which will hold oral arguments at some point in mid-late 2012.
More than 26 years in prison for a crime he did not commit have taken a significant toll on Karl, and the Clinic hopes that relief is finally near.
The Detroit Free Press: "Conviction challenged in child rape case"