MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico's Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the release of a Mexican-American jailed on a homicide conviction since 1992, ruling he had been tortured.
The court's ruling applied to the long-disputed conviction of Alfonso Martin del Campo Dodd in the murder of his sister and brother-in-law. It has been one of Mexico's longest and hardest-fought legal cases.
Lawyers for the dead couple's now-grown daughters criticized Wednesday's ruling, saying it was a blow to victims' rights.
"This is an offense to the victims," said Samuel Gonzalez, a former top anti-drug prosecutor who has helped defend victims' rights. "The victims did not get justice."
The court said police tortured Martin Del Campo Dodd into confessing to the killings, citing administrative proceedings filed against one officer two years after Campo Dodd was arrested. The court said he should be freed "in light of the proof that torture was used to obtain his confession in the two crimes, without there being any other incriminatory evidence."
The Mexican government fought for years to keep Martin Del Campo Dodd in prison despite pressure from abroad to release him. He holds U.S. and Mexican citizenship.
The couple were stabbed to death in their Mexico City home. Martin del Campo Dodd was at the home and said two masked assailants kidnapped him and stuffed him into the trunk of a car, which they later abandoned.
He signed a confession to the killings, but later claimed he did it under torture. He was sentenced to 50 years behind bars for the murder.