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Connecticut's longest-serving prisoner, who legal experts thought innocent, is released at age 97

Matthias Müller

Connecticut’s longest serving inmate has been released after over 70 years in prison. 

Francis Smith was put in jail after he was said to be an accomplice to the shooting that killed a security guard at a Greenwich Yacht Club in 1950, even though legal experts thought he was innocent.

The shooter, George Lowden, took a plea deal and was released from jail in 1966. He later revealed that he’d been forced to say Smith was with him and another prisoner in Alabama came forward as the actual accomplice. 

The 97-year-old Smith will spend the rest of his life on supervised parole at a Rocky Hill nursing home, a privately-run home that houses elderly former prisoners.

Natalie is a former news fellow with WSHU Public Radio.