Offbeat A man who was wrongly convicted of murder when he was 14 clears his name after 27 long years

02:10  17 may  2018
02:10  17 may  2018 Source:

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Men set free after 30 years in prison. Jailed 17 years for murder , now free. 70- year -old man is free after he was wrongly convicted . He was finally able to clear his name Tuesday, when a judge formally exonerated him after 27 years . He 's 41 now.

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John Bunn holds Judge ShawnDya Simpson during hearing where he was exonerated after 27 years for the murder of an off-duty corrections. © Spectrum News NY1 John Bunn holds Judge ShawnDya Simpson during hearing where he was exonerated after 27 years for the murder of an off-duty corrections.

John Bunn was just 14 when he was jailed for the murder of an off-duty correction officer in Brooklyn.

He was finally able to clear his name Tuesday, when a judge formally exonerated him after 27 years. He's 41 now.

He wept as he hugged his attorneys in court. He approached the judge and held both of her hands and rested his head on the bench.

"It has been 27 years, I've been fighting for my life and I've been fighting for my innocence," he said.

Bunn served 17 years in prison before he was freed on parole in 2009. Two years ago, he won the right to a new trial. Now, prosecutors have said they won't retry him -- leading to a full exoneration.

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Shaurn Thomas, convicted of a murder when he was only 16 years old, was sentenced to life in prison in 1994. Since then, Thomas has maintained his innocence, a fact corroborated by the Pennsylvania Innocence Project and a private law firm.

When police initially asked the victim who assaulted her, she named the other man . In good spirits: Moses-El smiles with his wife and other family members. He had just posted a ,000 bond that a judge required for his freedom after she overturned his 1988 conviction on rape and assault charges.

"I didn't deserve any of that stuff that you all did to me," Bunn said to prosecutors.

"They won't admit and say that I'm an innocent man. But I'm an innocent man, your honor, and I have always been an innocent man," Bunn said in court. "You all convicted and had a wrong man in prison, and you all still have somebody on the loose that killed someone."

The shooting

Rikers Island correction officers Rolando Neischer and Robert Crosson were shot while sitting in a car at a Brooklyn housing project at around 4 a.m. on August 13, 1991. The suspects were two men who wanted to steal their car, according to court documents.

Neischer was hit five times and died from his wounds.

Police got an anonymous tip that led them to Bunn and his co-defendant Rosean Hargrove, who was 17 at the time.

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Crosson identified the two men in a photo lineup and was the only witness at their trial, which lasted just one day.

Two bicycles were found at the scene along with blood and multiple fingerprints. During the appeal, a district attorney, who reviewed the case testified they didn't match Bunn or Hargrove, according to the documents.

The intervening years

During the proceedings Tuesday, the judge place much of the blame on a disgraced former NYPD detective, who's been accused of framing suspects during his career. Prosecutors have reviewed dozens of his cases for possible malpractice.

She also criticized the way the justice system handled the case.

"In one day they picked a jury, they had openings, they had witnesses, and a conclusion on a murder trial which I do not consider justice at all," Judge Shawndya Simpson said.

Bunn's lawyers told reporters he deserved an apology.

Alabama governor opposes parole for brutal killer

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Douglas was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. Five years into his sentence, Douglas filed a request for public records on his wife’s murder . Douglas continued to fight for his freedom, but his conviction wasn’t thrown out until 2001, 14 years after his trial.

That was remarkable because that morning, as every morning for the previous 10-1/2 years , he 'd awakened in a prison cell after being convicted twice of 36- year -old Kim Ancona's brutal December 1991 murder in a Phoenix lounge. Ray with his lawyer immediately after his release from prison.

"It would be nice to have that stated to him so that he could really feel fully vindicated, but we don't have that and it is unfortunate they didn't go there," said Glenn Garber, the director of the Exoneration Initiative.

Hargrove's conviction has also been thrown out and he won't be retried.

Bunn told CNN affiliate WPIX that he taught himself to read in prison. In the years since his release, he has collected more than 20,000 books for New York inmates, he said. He created the A Voice 4 the Unheard literacy project last year.

"I just feel overly blessed and thanking God that we reached this point," Bunn told reporters outside the courthouse.

No parole for woman in Georgia teen's slaying in Alabama .
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Alabama officials swiftly denied parole Wednesday for a woman convicted of murder in the 1982 death of a 13-year-old girl who was abducted from a Georgia shopping mall, sexually assaulted, and injected with drain cleaner before being fatally shot. After an emotional hearing, the Alabama Board of Pardons and Parole Boards took just 55 seconds to announce that it was refusing to free Judith Ann Neelley, 53. Neelley originally had been sentenced to the electric chair for the slaying of 13-year-old Lisa Ann Millican, but had her death sentence commuted, setting off a battle over her possible parole eligibility.


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