Florida Man, Convicted Of Felony, Gets Second Chance At Exoneration
Criminal defense attorney, Michael E. Dutko, working with the Broward State Attorney’s Office, has helped to get a man freed from prison, only weeks after the accused had been convicted of a third-degree felony. That man, 37-year-old Jorge Insua, was convicted of leaving the scene of an accident involving serious bodily injury, and on July 18 was sentenced to serve the next five years in a Florida prison.
Insua’s family decided to hire Mr. Dutko to help find new information that could prove Insua was innocent, and in late August, prosecutors agreed the new evidence Mr. Dutko had presented them warranted further investigation. As a result, the Broward State Attorneys Office requested Mr. Insua be released from prison pending a further investigation.
Mr. Dutko told local media the State Attorney’s move was a very unusual step. “I’ve never seen it before; I’ve never talked to someone who’s seen it before, but of course I’ve only been around the courthouse for 37 years,” he said.
“This wouldn’t be happening, but for the fact that I think some very responsible people in the State Attorney’s Office have literally dropped what they’re doing to evaluate this,” Mr. Dutko said.
This case demonstrates the complexities that can arise in matters of post-conviction relief. While Mr. Insua has been released from prison, his conviction is not yet overturned. “He’s out, but it’s not over,” Mr. Dutko told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
The evidence must still be examined, and the real culprit of the hit-and-run accident, for which Insua was convicted, must still be brought to justice. However, that may be easier than it sounds.
Police from the city of Sunrise, where the hit and run accident happened, actually had another suspect on their radar before turning to, and eventually arresting, Mr. Insua. However, it is unclear whether that person may eventually face charges, which could lead to Mr. Insua’s conviction being vacated.