It was an emotional homecoming for Ernie Lopez, a Texas man who spent the last 9 years in jail for the sexual assault of a 6-month old girl.
Last summer, a joint investigation by NPR, PBSFrontline and ProPublica showed that there was an overlooked factor that likely caused the baby’s death. Isis Vas had a severe blood clotting disorder, one that caused bruising and bleeding that mimicked the signs of physical and sexual abuse.
In January, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled that Lopez had received “deficient representation” because his original attorneys failed to call any medical experts. If they had done so, the ruling states, there was a “reasonable probability the jury would not have convicted him.
Photos by Katie Hayes Luke for NPR