After 16 years of incarceration, a New York man saw his murder conviction vacated. He has now brought forth a case against the then-District Attorney and the NYPD. The man claims that the Assistant District Attorney who prosecuted him fabricated evidence and failed to reveal that a witness had recanted in the course of his trial. The accused man claims that the District Attorney and the NYPD were "deliberately indifferent" to this examples of misconduct.
The man is also claiming that two police detectives gained a written statement from a man by coercive measures to falsely accuse the convicted man of robbery, which resulted in the death of a bystander. The 1994 Mollen Commission report, which detailed corruption within the NYPD including fabrication and perjury, is expected to be used as evidence against the force. This report was issued just months after the convicted man was arrested.
Unfortunately, unethical actions by police do occur in the course of some investigations. Though we, of course, want to believe the best in our law enforcement officers, mistakes to happen and there are some bad apples who seem to take the law into their own hands. A formal accusation can be the key to a conviction and cab ensure that the officer -- or prosecutor -- is looked upon favorably.
Cases like this one show the plausibility of wrongful convictions like the one this man faced. He has lost 16 years of his life, though he has recently found some justice. Unfortunately, our criminal justice system is not perfect, and in many cases, unfair. For those who are accused of crimes, whether felony or misdemeanor, it is important to secure adequate representation to ensure that the defendant's rights are vigorously defended.
Source: New York Law Journal, "Claims Against City Advance in Wrongful Conviction Case," Andrew Keshner, Feb. 19, 2013