BOSTON (WHDH) - A Boston man who spent 27 years in prison on murder charges was ordered to be released Tuesday after a judge ruled he did not get a fair trial.
James Lucien was convicted of murdering Ryan Edwards during a drug deal three decades ago but always maintained his innocence. The murder was pinned on Lucien by former Boston Police Detective John Brazil, who was part of a BPD team that was later charged with corruption.
Brazil was involved in the murder case against Sean Ellis, which gained attention through a recent Netflix documentary and was also overturned. Suffolk Superior Court Judge Robert Ullman said Brazil’s investigation was the reason Lucien did not get a fair trial.
“The person to blame is the lead detective in this case. Detective Brazil. If he had been honest and if he had done his job correctly, we would not be here,” Ullman said.
“The fact is when they didn’t investigate properly, men and women get wrongfully convicted,” said Lucien’s attorney, Dennis Toomey. “So it’s scary to think about. I think there probably is more.”
Lucien said he knew what he wanted to do on his first day of freedom.
“Be with my family. I want to be with my family,” Lucien said.
But Dionne Richards, Ryan Edwards’ sister, said she upset no one is now charged with her brother’s murder.
“I think it’s horrible. Now he’s free and there’s nobody to help my family and my brother’s murder goes as another unsolved murder in Boston,” she said.
But Lucien says justice was served and he’s ready to start anew.
“Just work,” he said. Try to capture some of the life I’ve lost.”
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