Exonerated man argues first Innocence Project trial

A Wisconsin man was in court Tuesday looking for post-conviction relief after being convicted of a crime he says he didn’t commit, and his lawyer, Jarrett Adams, knows all too well how that feels.

While Adams was sitting in jail for a crime he didn’t commit, he was learning how to be a lawyer. Now he’s part of the legal team representing Richard Beranek.

“Now I have the opportunity to represent people like Richard Beranek who is innocent and has evidence of his innocence,” Adams said. “I have the opportunity, knowing full well what it’s like to be in there and hope that someone is listening to your cries.”

Beranek was convicted of sexual assault, and is now seeking post-conviction relief as his lawyers argue new DNA evidence proves that hair found at the scene of the crime doesn’t belong to him.

Prosecuting attorney Bob Kaiser, who has been with the case since the beginning, back in 1989, disagrees.

“Hair B, the single hair you think it might have been, was consistent with Mr. Beranek’s hair. Given the fact that you found no characteristics, saying they’re consistent would be correct. Isn’t that right?” Kaiser said.

The three-day trial continues through Thursday.