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Free after 36 years, he won’t face prosecution in 1980 death

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The New Orleans district attorney is ending efforts to prosecute a man who was freed last year after spending 36 years behind bars for a murder he insists he didn’t commit.

District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s decision Tuesday ends a long legal ordeal for 69-year-old John Floyd.

Floyd long maintained the he was beaten and coerced into falsely confessing to the 1980 stabbing death of William Hines. He was freed after a federal judge ruled that his claims were credible. An appeals court upheld the ruling in June.

Floyd confessed in two similar 1980 murders but was convicted on only one. The federal judge cited evidence that someone else committed both murders.

Cannizzaro said he remains convinced of Floyd’s guilt but that efforts to defend the conviction have been exhausted.

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