Death row lawyer: ‘If I throw in the towel, a client dies’

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Story highlights

Edward Lee Elmore was sentenced to death for a murder he says he didn't commit

Lawyers: Law enforcement planted evidence and manipulated facts to convict him

Federal appeals court blamed "extreme malfunctions" in the justice system

To win his freedom, Elmore pleaded guilty to murder while maintaining innocence

CNN  — 

By the time Edward Lee Elmore won his freedom at age 53, he had spent 30 years – most of them on death row – imprisoned in South Carolina for a crime he says he did not commit.

Law enforcement planted evidence and prosecutors manipulated facts to cast Elmore as the only suspect in the 1982 murder of 75-year-old Dorothy Edwards, his lawyers claim.