“I Have Inherited A Mess” On Wrongful Convictions, Brooklyn DA Says


“With respect to wrongful conviction cases, I have inherited a mess,” Brooklyn, N.Y., District Attorney Kenneth Thompson tells NPR. “I am currently investigating over 100 claims of wrongful convictions. Those numbers are staggering. And that’s why I created the conviction review unit, and was able to convince a very prominent, well-respected law professor, Ron Sullivan, who’s a law professor at Harvard Law School, to come down to Brooklyn and run my unit.”

Last week, David McCallum walked free in Brooklyn nearly 30 years after he’d been wrongly convicted of a murder. He was 16 years old in 1986 when he was imprisoned with William Stuckey. Thompson said there was no evidence linking David McCallum or Willie Stuckey to the murder of Nathan Blenner other than their confessions. The confessions were very short and they contained false-fed facts. The prosecutor said the hardest thing he had to to was “to sit down with the Blenner family and to let them know that the two defendants whom they believed for 29 years were responsible for the abduction, robbery and murder of their son and brother were wrongfully convicted was extremely difficult. And I pledged to them that I would do all I could to pursue the leads that we do have because we have leads to try to hold the people who killed him responsible.”

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