ELKHART, Ind. (AP) — A federal appeals court has thrown out a 1994 attempted murder conviction, finding that an Indiana prosecutor concealed evidence by not disclosing that the state’s sole eyewitness underwent hypnosis to sharpen his memory before testifying at trial.
The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago announced the decision in Mack Sims’ case on Feb. 1.
Sims was sentenced to 35 years after he was convicted in Elkhart County in the shooting of security guard Shane Carey. He appealed the conviction after learning in 2012 that Carey had undergone hypnosis.
The U.S. Supreme Court says a person who undergoes hypnosis could potentially fill memory gaps with fantasy or experience increased confidence in both accurate and inaccurate recollections.
The appeals court’s decision is the latest rebuke of Elkhart County’s criminal justice system.