Hillsborough State Attorney taking a new look at cases to free the innocent

Hillsborough County

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Herman Lindsey once thought he would be put to death by the state of Florida for a crime he knew he didn’t commit.

Lindsey was convicted for a 1994 pawn shop murder in Broward County.

He was convicted of killing Jo-Ann Mazzola during a robbery. The conviction came 12 years after the murder.

“At the beginning, it’s like a confident thing that you’re going home, and then at the end it’s like a shock. I was in a bad mental state for a while, like a numb state,” said Lindsey.

He wrote letter and asked people to take a new look at his case.

Finally, the Florida Innocence project did take a look at the evidence and the testimony they convinced the court system that Lindsey had been wrongfully convicted on circumstantial evidence.

“When you find out you have someone working on your case it gives you you’re life back a little,” said Lindsey.

Now Netflix has a popular series on called, “The Innocence Files” and Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren says he wants to take advantage of the show’s popularity and has established a unit to look at possible wrongful convictions in Hillsborough County.

“We wanted to capitalize on the popularity of the Netflix show the innocence files to remind everyone in Hillsborough County that we do have this unit,” said Warren.

Warren is encouraging the public to contact his office if they believe they know of a case in Hillsborough County that deserves a new look.

“If you’re sitting at home watching the show, or you’ve heard of the show and you are thinking, I think I know of someone who was wrongfully convicted in Hillsborough County and you’re not sure what to do about it, now there is a clear answer,” said Warren.

The Hillsborough County State Attorney’s office has established a new website for the public to report cases that need to be examined.

You can complete the form and email it to cru@sao13th.com; or mailing a hard copy of the PDF form to the State Attorney’s Office, Attn: Conviction Review Unit, 419 N. Pierce St., Tampa, Florida 33602.

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