2023-01-26 00:47:06

Freed After 20 Years, Hawaii Man Reflects on Case, Future

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U.S. News & World Report
By Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) On Ian Schweitzer's first morning of freedom Wednesday, he woke up in a hotel room, looked over the balcony at the ocean and took in the beauty of the island he had been away from for over 20 years while imprisoned for a 1991 murder and rape he has always maintained he didn't commit.

In an interview with The Associated Press from the Big Island, he reflected on a range of emotions, from his faith in God that kept him positive to his complicated feelings about police and the criminal justice system to a quest to help solve who really killed Dana Ireland.

We want justice for Dana, Schweitzer said.

Schweitzer said he considers himself a victim of the same crimes he was convicted of: I feel like they murdered 25 years of my life. I feel like they kidnapped me away from my family. I feel like they raped me of being a son.

A judge ordered his release Tuesday after hours of expert testimony on new evidence showing Schweitzer wasn't responsible for the death of Ireland, 23, a tourist from Virginia. She was visiting a remote part of the Big Island when she was found along a fishing trail.

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