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New Evidence Could Get Jeffrey MacDonald A New Trial

New Evidence Could Get Jeffrey MacDonald A New Trial

Airdate: 09/18/2012

Kathryn MacDonald is standing by her man, a man who's grown old in prison for one of the most brutal crimes in American history.

"It's bittersweet. It’s been a long haul,” Kathryn said.

Jeffrey MacDonald was an army doctor and a Green Beret back in 1970. The Green Berets were the Navy SEALs of their time. But that same year, the unthinkable happened. Jeffrey’s pregnant wife and their two small children were brutally murdered at their home in Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

He was convicted of the crime, and he's spent the past decades behind bars, but now, that could change.

Errol Morris is the author of an explosive new book about MacDonald called A Wilderness of Error.

Morris told INSIDE EDITION, “Jeffrey MacDonald did not get a fair trial in 1979. The trial was rigged, it was manipulated, the jury never got to hear actual central evidence of the defense."

A new hearing at a North Carolina courthouse is considering DNA evidence that was not available when MacDonald was convicted.

Will it be enough to warrant a new trial?

Author Joe McGinnis wrote the bestselling book Fatal Vision about the crime. The book was also the basis for a TV miniseries that aired in 1984.

McGinnis told INSIDE EDITION, "MacDonald was first charged with these crimes 42 years ago. Only in America could this still be going on."

Jeffrey MacDonald has always claimed his family was slaughtered by a band of drug-crazed hippies. In a 2003 jailhouse interview, he told Larry King why he believed he was wrongly convicted.

"They never investigated this case as if there were outside assailants,” said Jeffrey.

McGinnis doesn't believe it.

"He’s a very charming psychopath,” said McGinnis

Jeffrey has a surprise ally - Sarah Palin, of all people. You may recall that Joe McGinnis moved next door to Palin's home in Alaska when he was researching his book The Rogue.  

"I sympathize with MacDonald and his defense team because I saw first-hand the twisted way McGinnis operates," Palin said in a statement.

MacDonald, now 68, got married behind bars in 2005. His wife Kathryn has always defended him.

Kathryn said, "In light of all the evidence, he's an innocent man."

But Bob Stevenson, brother of MacDonald’s slain wife Colette, is determined to see that Jeffrey never walks free.

Stevenson said, "I loathe that man as deeply as I loathe anyone in the world. There is no new evidence, there never was new evidence. They'll keep trying this till the day he dies."

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