New York State*

Victims of the State

29 Cases

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Date of Alleged Crime


Cayuga County, NY Thomas & Gene July 24, 1976 (Auburn)
Sammy Thomas and his brother Willie Gene, both blacks, were convicted of murder of George Sedor.  Sedor was shot six times in his car in the parking lot of the Sunset Restaurant on N. Division St. in Auburn.  He was a co-owner of the restaurant.  A key prosecution witness, Steven Wejko, testified he supplied the brothers with weapons and that they admitted killing Sedor.  Wejko got a plea deal for his testimony.  Sedor's brother had told police that the killers were white.  However, police and prosecutors conspired to keep this information from coming out in the original trial. The truth only came out at Gene's retrial in May 1980. Gene was acquitted, and charges were then dropped against his brother. The prosecutor in the case, Peter Corning, was never punished for his conduct in the trial.  He later became a judge.  (RW) (Google)  [7/08]


Cayuga County, NY Roy Brown May 23, 1991 (Aurelius)

Roy Brown was convicted of murdering 49-year-old social worker Sabina Kulakowski.  Following a fire at her house, firefighters entered the it to see if anyone was inside.  While firefighters were inside, another firefighter, Barry Bench, who happened to be Kulakowski's ex-brother-in-law, found her nude body on a dirt road outside the house.  She had been stabbed and strangled to death.

Brown had been angry at Kulakowski because she had removed his 17-year-old daughter from his home.  After making harassing phone calls and mailing several angry letters about the decision, Brown was arrested.  He served 8 months in jail for his actions and was released less than a week before Kulakowski's murder.

In 2002, after Brown's court documents were destroyed in a fire at his stepfather's house, he learned that under the Freedom of Information Act he could request not only his trial transcripts but also all the information the District Attorney had compiled on his case.  From the documents Brown requested and received, he learned that police had initially suspected Bench of the murder.  The more Brown learned about Bench, the more he wondered why police had not arrested him for the murder.  Brown filed a motion to overturn his conviction based on the new evidence, but it was denied.

Brown then wrote a letter to Bench, accusing him of the murder.  He wrote that with advances in DNA technology, there was no place for Bench to hide anymore.  At the time Brown was not 100% sure that Bench was the killer, but he waited for a response to his letter.  Five days later, Brown learned from the evening news that Bench killed himself by lying in front of an oncoming train.

DNA tests were subsequently performed that showed DNA supplied by Bench's daughter had a 50% match to DNA from a T-shirt found near Kulakowski's body.  After Bench's body was exhumed, DNA was taken from it and tests showed it matched the DNA found on the T-shirt.  In 2007, Brown's conviction was vacated and he was released from prison.  (Crime Library) (Post-Tribune)  [4/10]


Clinton County, NY David Wong Mar 12, 1986

David Wong, a busboy in Manhattan's Chinatown, was arrested for participating with co-workers in an armed robbery of his employer's Long Island home in 1983.  While serving his sentence upstate at Clinton Correctional Facility, he was charged with and convicted of murdering inmate Tyrone Julius.

In March 1999, a New York Times article quoted former prison employees who stated that Wong's innocence was "common knowledge" at the prison.  Fellow inmates understood that Nelson Gutierrez, a long-time rival of Julius, had killed him, but they were afraid to speak up at the time.  Gutierrez was paroled in 1994 and returned to the Dominican Republic where he died of an apparent drug overdose in May 2000.  By 2002, almost a dozen former inmates had signed affidavits supporting Wong's innocence.  Wong was denied a new trial, but the decision was reversed on appeal and all charges against Wong were dropped in 2004.

Wong, an undocumented alien, remained held by immigration authorities until Aug 2005, when they deported him to Hong Kong.  (Asianweek) (  [11/05]


Dutchess County, NY Dewey Bozella June 14, 1977 (Poughkeepsie)

Dewey Bozella was convicted in 1983 and again in 1990 of the murder of 92-year-old Emma Crapser.  The victim interrupted a burglary after returning to her 15 N. Hamilton Street apartment in Poughkeepsie.  She was beaten, bound with an electrical cord, and suffocated.  At Bozella's trials, the prosecution relied almost entirely on the testimony of two career criminals, Wayne Moseley and Lamar Smith, both of whom repeatedly changed their stories and both of whom got favorable treatment in their own cases in exchange for their testimony.

According to the witnesses' testimony, the two left a park with Bozella about 8 p.m. and arrived outside Crapser's apartment when it was dark.  Then according to Smith, both Mosley and Bozella were on the victim's front porch for five to ten minutes before they went inside.  Not more than five minutes later, a car pulled up and the victim got out. Such testimony placed Crapser's arrival and death around 9 p.m.  However, other evidence indicated with relative certainty that Crapser was dropped off and killed very close to 11 p.m.

There was no physical evidence linking Bozella to the crime.  In 1983 the FBI found that a fingerprint lifted from the inside of Crapser's bathroom window matched a man named Donald Wise.  Wise was convicted of murdering another elderly woman in the same neighborhood as Crapser.  This murder occurred just months after that of Crapser and the victim's sister who was present at the crime said the assailant tried to stuff something down her throat.  Crapser was suffocated with several pieces of cloth stuffed down her throat.

In 2007, the law firm of WilmerHale agreed to handle Bozella's case on a pro bono basis.  Among the people the lawyers interviewed was Arthur Regula, a retired Poughkeepsie police lieutenant, who surprised them by pulling out Bozella's case file.  Regula said it was the only case file he kept after retirement, figuring that the conviction was so problematic lawyers might want it someday.  The file contained statements from Crapser's neighbors that contradicted the two key witnesses against Bozella.  Using Freedom of Information Act filings, the lawyers obtained a tape recording of someone who implicated Wise in the murder. None of this evidence had been turned over to Bozella's trial attorneys.  In 2009, a judge overturned Bozella's conviction, the prosecution dropped charges, and Bozella was released after 26 years of imprisonment.  (NY Daily News) (NY Times) (People v. Bozella)  [4/10]


Erie County, NY Irving Greenwald 1924
(Federal Case)  Irving Greenwald was convicted of stealing blank money orders from a postal substation in a Buffalo, NY drugstore and then cashing them for various amounts at businesses in New York City.  The perpetrator reportedly had blond hair and blue eyes as did Greenwald.  At trial multiple witnesses identified Greenwald as the perpetrator.  Following his conviction and imprisonment, money orders stolen from the same drugstore continued to be passed under similar circumstances, and the perpetrator, Richard Barry, was eventually caught.  Aside from having blond hair and blue eyes, there was no material resemblance between Barry and Greenwald.  Following Barry's conviction, U.S. President Coolidge pardoned Greenwald.  (CTI)  [6/08]


Erie County, NY Edward Larkman Aug 12, 1925 (Buffalo)

Edward Larkman was convicted of the robbery and murder of Ward J. Pierce, the paymaster of the Art Metal Shop plant in Buffalo, NY.  Dorothy Littleworth, an eyewitness to the crime, said the killer wore dark glasses.  After police forced Larkman to put on dark glasses, Littleworth identified Larkman as the killer.  The identification was performed without any lineup.  Littleworth had said she had seen the killer's profile for only three seconds and his face for only two.  At trial, the jury asked for information on how Littleworth had identified Larkman, but they were not told.  The jury convicted Larkman after 43 hours of deliberation. Larkman was sentenced to death.

The court of appeals affirmed Larkman's conviction, without issuing a majority opinion.  However, two judges issued a minority dissent because they felt that Larkman's identification had not been established beyond a reasonable doubt.  In Jan. 1927, shortly before Larkman's scheduled execution, Governor Alfred E. Smith commuted Larkman's sentence to life imprisonment, as was customary when there was dissent on the court of appeals.

In April 1929, Anthony Kalkiewicz, a Buffalo gangster, confessed to participating in the murder of Pierce with four other men, none of them Larkman.  Larkman was subsequently denied a new trial because the new evidence was not presented within a year of his first trial.  However, in April 1933, Governor Lehman unconditionally pardoned Larkman, mainly because of the identification method used by the police.  (Not Guilty)  [10/08]


Erie County, NY Ahmad Kassim Mar 18, 1958 (Lackawanna)
After he allegedly confessed, Ahmad Kassim was convicted of first-degree manslaughter in connection with the stabbing death of Aji Hirabi Hussain.  The NY Court of Appeals reversed Kassim's conviction in 1965.  It found that an assistant district attorney had misinterpreted Kassim's broken English and had actually dictated Kassim's "confession" to a transcriber.  (Oswego Palladium-Times)  [1/07]


Erie County, NY J. L. Ivey, Jr. 1976 (Buffalo)
J. L. Ivey, Jr. was convicted of murdering 25-year-old Allan Sturman during a late night holdup at an Elmwood Avenue gas station in Buffalo.  In 1981, an appellate court vacated Ivey's conviction because the prosecutor, Albert Ranni, committed "numerous and repeated acts of improper and prejudicial conduct" at Ivey's trial, including attempting to offer into evidence misleading composite sketches and making improper remarks to jury.  Ivey was retried, acquitted, and released in 1982.  In 1985, Ivey won a judgment against the state for wrongful conviction and imprisonment.  [7/05]


Erie County, NY Vincent Jenkins May 1982
Vincent Jenkins, later known as Habib Wahir Abdal, was accused of rape.  The victim, Leslie A. Werner, initially said her assailant was between 5'8" and 5'10" in height, with a space between his upper front teeth, and a “tenor type” voice.  Jenkins was 6'2", has no gap between his teeth, and has a deep voice.  However, the victim identified him in a show up procedure.  Forensic hair identification pointed to a black man other than Jenkins.  Jenkins was convicted and served 17 years of a 20 years to life sentence before DNA tests exonerated him.  Jenkins was awarded $2 million in 2003 for wrongful imprisonment.  He died of cancer in 2005.  (IP) (CWC)  [8/07]


Erie County, NY Anthony Capozzi 1985
Anthony Capozzi was charged with three 1985 rapes, known as the Delaware Park rapes.  The rape victims told police their attacker weighed about 160 pounds, but Capozzi weighed 200 to 220 pounds.  None of the victims mentioned a prominent three-inch scar on Capozzi's face.  A jury convicted Capozzi in 1987 of two of the rapes, but acquitted him of the third.  He was sentenced to 35 years of imprisonment.  At the request of Capozzi and his attorney, biological evidence collected from two victims in 1985 was DNA tested in 2007.  The results matched the profile of a man then in state custody.  Capozzi was exonerated and released in April 2007.  (IP)  [7/07]


Erie County, NY Valentino Dixon Aug 10, 1991 (Buffalo)
Valentino Dixon was convicted of the machine gun murder of Torriano Jackson, 17, and the wounding of three others.  After Dixon's arrest, Lamarr Scott, 18, confessed to the shooting but recanted for a time after police charged two others who said he was the shooter with perjury and threatened to charge him also.  Scott also claims Detective Mark Stambach repeatedly threatened his life.  Jackson was apparently killed after he fired a gun at others.  Two charged witnesses were later convicted of perjury after Dixon was convicted.  Police wanted to convict Dixon, 21, because he was a perceived drug dealer and was too old to warrant the Youthful Offender status and lenient treatment that Scott would receive.  At trial, Dixon's defense attorney refused to call defense witnesses waiting outside the courtroom.  As of 2004, eight witnesses have signed sworn statements that exonerate Dixon, and one prosecution witness has recanted.  In 2009, Dixon's appeal to obtain a new trial was denied.  (Buffalo News)  [7/05]


Erie County, NY Lynn DeJac Feb 14, 1993

Lynn M. DeJac was convicted in 1994 of the strangulation murder of her 13-year-old daughter, Crystallynn M. Girard.  A family friend testified that DeJac confessed to the crime.  The friend was facing a possible life sentence on a forgery indictment.  DeJac has always maintained that her former boyfriend, Dennis Donohue, must have killed Crystallynn.  A judge called that proposition a “red herring.”  On the day of her sentencing, she told reporters, through her sister, that she knew one day that it would become clear that Donohue was a serial killer.

In 2007, Donohue was charged with the Sept. 1993 strangulation murder of Joan Giambra, a South Buffalo woman.  Donohue also became a “person of interest” in the murder of Crystallynn, as well as in the 1975 strangulation murder of a woman, Carol Reed.  After tests found Donohue's DNA in Crystallynn's body and bed, DeJac's conviction was overturned.  While the prosecution was planning to retry DeJac, its forensic experts discovered that Crystallynn had not, in fact, been strangled, but had died of "acute cocaine intoxication."  Because of the new evidence, prosecutors dropped charges against DeJac in Feb. 2008.  (The Buffalo News) (FJDB)  [10/07]


Madison County, NY Dan Lackey Jan 16, 2003 (Oneida)

Dan Lackey was convicted of raping Amber Mundy.  Mundy said she was assaulted near some railroad tracks in Oneida.  At this site Mundy's footprints were visible in the snow, but those of her assailant's were not.  It was alleged that passing trains blew snow into the assailant's footprints, but not into those of his victim.  Mundy said she was assaulted with a stick, and according to her testimony, there should have been much blood on the stick, but there was only a tiny amount of blood on it.  She also said her assailant bit her, but when a DNA test was performed on the bite mark, the results were deemed inconclusive because they failed to show the presence of any male DNA.

Although Mundy was not able to positively identify Lackey as her assailant, police alleged that Lackey gave an unrecorded confession to the crime.  Three months after Lackey's conviction, Mundy reported a similar rape in Oswego County.  For this action she was convicted of making a false report and spent 8 months in jail.  A state police investigator had informed the Oneida Police of the case just three months after Lackey's sentencing.  Lackey first learned of Mundy's false report two years later when a defense investigator interviewed Mundy's boyfriend.

In response to this evidence, a judge overturned Lackey's conviction in July 2007.  The judge said he was not convinced that the alleged confession obtained from Lackey was admissible, because with a 73 IQ, Lackey may not have had the mental capacity to waive his Miranda rights.  Lackey was released without bail.  The D.A., however, appealed the decision to overturn Lackey's conviction, but his appeal was unsuccessful.  (Oneida Dispatch) (Video)  [4/10]


Monroe County, NY Tyson & Duval May 25, 1973
Betty Tyson and John Duval, both blacks, were convicted by an all white jury of murdering Timothy Haworth, 52-year-old white businessman from Philadelphia.  Tyson confessed after being handcuffed to a chair and beaten and kicked by police for 12 hours.  A Rochester reporter found a jail counselor who reported her 1973 beating to his superiors the day after it occurred.  No physical evidence linked Tyson to the crime, and her car tires were different than the killer's tire tracks.  One of two teenage witnesses said police put a gun to his head and said they would kill him if he did not testify against her.  Both witnesses were held as material witnesses in jail for seven months until her trial and threatened with being charged with murder if they did not perjure themselves.  The detective who handled her case was convicted in 1980 of faking evidence in another case.  Tyson and Duval were released in 1998 and 1999.  Tyson was awarded $1.25 million.  (FJDB) (Justice: Denied)


Monroe County, NY Douglas Warney Jan 3, 1996 (Rochester)
Police obtained a confession from mentally handicapped Douglas Warney to the stabbing death of William Beason, 63.  No physical evidence linked Warney to the crime and the facts of the case contradicted his confession.  A trail of blood found at the scene did not match the victim's blood type or Warney's blood type.  It had to have come from a third person, presumably the killer.  Warney was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.  Warney was freed in 2006 after DNA tests exonerated him and implicated another New York inmate, Eldred Johnson, Jr.  Johnson, already incarcerated for life, subsequently confessed to the crime.  (Rochester Democrat and Chronicle) (IP)  [9/06]


Nassau County, NY Long Island Three Nov 10, 1984 (Lynbrook)

Dennis Halstead, John Kogut, and John Restivo were convicted of raping and murdering 16-year-old Theresa Fusco.  Kogut confessed to the crime and implicated the other two, but he later recanted his confession.  In the sixth and final version of Kogut's confession, Kogut confessed to strangling Fusco using rope, but the ligature mark on Fusco indicated she was strangled by cloth rather than rope.  Rope leaves a crisscross pattern caused by the weave, but the ligature mark on Fusco was smooth.  The detectives who extracted Kogut's confession, Joseph Volpe and Robert Dempsey, had also extracted a false confessions in two other murder cases.  Volpe got Robert Moore to confess in 1995 that he shot a man, but Moore was acquitted and later awarded $85,000.  Dempsey got Shonnard Lee to confess in 1999 to murder, but Lee was acquitted and later awarded $2 million.

In 2003, DNA tests were performed on a discovered semen sample, which excluded the men.  Defense investigators also procured an affidavit from a former detective, who performed prosecution analysis of hairs found in the defendants' van that at trial were said to belong to the victim.  The analysis showed that these hairs were planted.  The detective explained that the hairs had post-mortem root banding which meant that they were attached to a corpse that had been dead for at least eight hours.  Because the victim was only alleged to be in the van for a few minutes after death, they could not have come from her then.  They could have been taken from her at her autopsy.  Convictions for all three defendants were vacated in 2003.  Because of his confession, Kogut was retried in 2005, and found not guilty.  (Newsday) (CM) (NY Times) (IP1, IP2, IP3)  [9/06]


Nassau County, NY Daivery Taylor Convicted 2005

Daivery Taylor, a personal injury attorney, was indicted on charges that he used "steerers" to sign up accident victims and that he coached clients to fabricate injuries.  Following a two-week non-jury trial in 2005, Judge Jeffrey S. Brown convicted Taylor and his Freeport, NY based firm, Silverman & Taylor, of these charges.  Taylor was subsequently disbarred due to these convictions.  The case became a symbol of the efforts of the anti-insurance fraud campaign launched by NY Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.

Following Taylor's conviction, his lawyers argued to an appeals court, "It is remarkable that for all of the years-long investigation ... and the thousands of taped conversations, the prosecution had no solid evidence -- not a single patient, not a single medical record, not a single document -- that demonstrated Mr. Taylor's complicity in an alleged fraud."  In 2008, the NY Appellate Division, 2nd Department agreed that Taylor's convictions were based on insufficient evidence.  It not only threw out the convictions, but also dismissed the 32-count indictment against him.  (NY Law Journal)  [1/09]


Orange County, NY Victor Ortiz Jan 8, 1983
Victor Ortiz was convicted of raping 17-year-old Awilda Aliciea and sentenced to 25 years in prison.  DNA tests exonerated him in 1996.  (IP) (Ortiz v. Walker)  [11/05]


Orleans County, NY Stielow & Green Mar 12, 1915

Charles Stielow and his brother-in-law Nelson Green were convicted of murdering their neighbor, Charles Phelps, and his housekeeper, Marjorie Wilcott.  Green was sentenced to life imprisonment, and Stielow to death.  Both men allegedly wrote or dictated confessions, purported to be in their own words, which they refused to sign.  In addition, a ballistics report was presented which showed that the fatal bullets had come from a gun found in Stielow's home.

After the convictions, further investigation by a newspaper showed that both the confessions and ballistics report were fabricated.  Both men were illiterate and the confessions included language beyond their comprehension.  The two detectives who obtained the confessions were hired on a contingency basis.  They would be paid only if they solved the crime.  A dictograph machine recording of conversations occurring during the alleged confessions provided clear proof that no confessions had occurred and showed that the detectives, the sheriff, and undersheriff had lied under oath.  In addition, ballistic analysis showed that the state ballistics expert had also committed perjury.  No official was punished even though Stielow came within an hour of execution.  Both Stielow and Green were pardoned in 1918.  (CWC) (CTI) [8/07]


Suffolk County, NY Kerry Kotler 1978, 1981
Kerry Kotler was convicted of rape, burglary, and robbery.  At trial, the prosecution withheld police reports that showed that the victim's description differed from Kotler in age, height, and weight and that the victim's identification of Kotler was a "look-alike," not a positive identification.  DNA tests exonerated Kotler in 1992.  (IP) (CBJ)  [9/06]


Suffolk County, NY Leonard Callace Jan 1985
Leonard Callace was convicted of three counts of sodomy and four counts of sexual abuse.  He was sentenced to 25 to 50 years imprisonment.  The victim described her rapist as 5'10" or taller, with reddish-blond afro style hair, a full beard, and a cross tattoo on his left hand.  She identified Callace from a photo array and he was arrested 18 months after the crime.  Callace is 5'8" and has straight blond hair.  He had a goatee he has always kept tightly trimmed and a tiny cross on his right hand.  Another suspect in the crime was eliminated after he revealed that he was circumcised, but Callace was also circumcised.  Callace has type A blood, the same as the assailant.  Callace rejected a plea bargain that would have given him 4 months imprisonment if he pleaded to a lesser charge.  DNA tests exonerated Callace in 1992.  (IP) (CBJ) (Dredmund)  [9/06]


Suffolk County, NY Marty Tankleff Sept 7, 1988 (Belle Terre)

After being interrogated for five and a half hours, Martin H. Tankleff, 17, confessed to beating and stabbing his wealthy parents, Seymour and Arlene Tankleff.  Arlene died and Seymour would die weeks later.  Police falsely told Marty that his father had come out of a coma and identified him as his and Arlene's assailant.  Police convinced Marty (for a short while) that he must have assaulted his parents in a blackout.  No evidence linked Marty to the crime, and while his confession matched the crime theory police held at the time, it did not match the facts of the case. Marty soon recanted and none of his surviving relatives believed he committed the crime. In a highly publicized trial covered by Court TV, a jury convicted Marty of the murders and he was sentenced to fifty years to life in prison.

Since the trial, a man has come forward, stating he drove two accomplices to and from the house on the night of the crime, for what he thought was a burglary. One of the accomplices was connected to Seymour Tankleff's estranged business partner, Jerard Steuerman. Steuerman admitted he was under pressure from Seymour to repay hundreds of thousands of dollars in business loans. Steuerman had partnered with Seymour in bagel stores and horse racing. He was also the last person to leave a high-stakes card game at the Tankleff house early on the morning of the murders. Several days after the crime, as Seymour lingered in a hospital before dying, Steuerman staged his own death and fled to California, shaving his beard and assuming an alias.

Starting in 2003, several new witnesses came forward, implicating Joseph Creedon and Peter Kent as the killers. Creedon was an associate of Steuerman and Tankleff believed that Creedon and Kent had acted on Steuerman's behalf. Evidence also emerged that the lead detective in the case, K. James McCready, had worked for Steuerman, and may have been bribed by him. In Dec. 2007, Tankleff's conviction was overturned. The DA announced that he would not retry him.  A book was written on the case entitled A Criminal Injustice by Richard Firstman and Jay Salpeter.  ( (NY Times) (Newsday) (LI Press) (JD33 p8) (JD12) [9/06]


Suffolk County, NY Clarence Bruce Braunskill Convicted 1989
Clarence Bruce Braunskill was convicted of selling cocaine based largely on a tape recording of a seller's voice and an undercover detective's testimony.  Braunskill's brother, Leonard, tracked down the real drug seller and Braunskill was freed.  Braunskill was awarded $850,000 for 8 years of wrongful imprisonment.  [10/05]


Tioga County, NY Eunice Baker June 1999 (Oswego)
Eunice Baker, a baby sitter with a 70 IQ, confessed under police coercion to killing 3-year-old Charlotte Kurtz.  Eunice signed a statement confessing that she had been planning on killing the baby for "the last two days" and had "turned up the thermostat at about 9:00 p.m.," because she "thought that if [she] could get [the baby's] body temperature up high enough [she] could kill her."  The statement also added that Eunice "wanted [the baby] to die because [she] couldn't stand her."  The baby was found unconscious in her room at 2 a.m.  The temperature in the baby's room was measured at 130 degrees even though the thermostat only went up to 88 degrees.  At trial, a police technician admitted finding a short circuit in the wires leading to the thermostat, a fact, which caused the heater to run continuously.  Nevertheless, Eunice was convicted and sentenced to 15 years to life imprisonment.  In 2004, an appeals court released her after reducing her second-degree murder conviction to that of criminally negligent homicide.  (Info)  [5/05]


Washington County, NY Jack Chase Feb 17, 1990 (Hampton)
Jack Chase was convicted of arson and insurance fraud in a case that involved perjured testimony by neighbors.  Insurance company investigators had previously cleared Chase of any wrongdoing.  In 2005, Chase's conviction was overturned.  (TruthInJustice)  [9/06]


Westchester County, NY Charles Dabbs Aug 12, 1982
Charles Dabbs was sentenced to life in prison for rape after being identified by the victim.  DNA tests exonerated him in 1991.  (IP) (CBJ) (CM)  [5/05]


Westchester County, NY Terry Chalmers Aug 18, 1986
Terry Chalmers was convicted of rape and robbery solely because the victim identified him as her assailant.  The victim was unable to identify him from photo lineups at first, but eventually identified him 46 days after the crime through a later lineup in which Chalmers picture was the only one that was used from previous lineups.  DNA tests exonerated Chalmers in 1995.  (IP) (CBJ)  [12/05]


Westchester County, NY Jeffrey Deskovic Nov 15, 1989 (Peekskill)
Jeffrey Mark Deskovic was convicted of murdering 15-year-old Angela Correa, a high school classmate.  Police focused on 16-year-old Deskovic as the murderer because he seemed unusually distraught over the killing.  Although Deskovic was not a close friend of Correa, he explained Correa had been one of the few students that had been nice to him, even helping him with algebra.  After several hours of police questioning and after being promised he would go home after admitting to the killing, Deskovic confessed to the crime.  DNA extracted from semen found in Correa's body did not match Deskovic's, but prosecutors said it was because Correa had had consensual sex with another man before being assaulted.  In 2006, the DNA from the crime was matched to another inmate, Steven Cunningham, who is serving a life term for another murder.  Deskovic's conviction was overturned and he was released.  (Journal News) (IP) (  [12/06]


Wyoming County, NY Attica Massacre Victims Sept 13, 1971

Prompted by horrendous conditions, the 1281 inmates at the New York state prison in Attica took over the prison on Sept. 9, 1971 and took the guards there hostage.  One guard died died during the takeover due to his own attempt to be heroic.  The hostages were treated well and were guarded by the inmate leadership from potential assault from lone inmates.  The guard hostages were dressed in ordinary inmate clothing so that potential outside snipers would not be able to tell whom they were shooting at.  The uprising began as an unfocused riot, but grew into a focused and reasonable demand for better prison conditions.

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