Wrongfully convicted New Yorker released after serving 29 years

A New Yorker who served 29 years behind bars for a murder he didn’t commit walked free today after his conviction was thrown out.

David McCallum, who has spent nearly two-thirds of his life in prison, sobbed into his hands as Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Matthew D’Emic vacated his conviction on Wednesday.

McCallum, 45, said he was feeling mixed emotions because his fellow convict, Willie Stuckey, had passed away behind bars in 2001 before he could see their names cleared.

It’s ‘a bittersweet moment, because I’m walking out alone,’ he told reporters outside the court.

After wiping away his tears, McCallum walked out of court grinning with his arm around his mother, Ernestine McCallum. He was met with applause from supporters and hugs from his relatives.

The mens’ cause had been championed by ex-boxer Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter, who became an international symbol of injustice when he got his a triple murder conviction vacated.

After their 1985 arrests, McCallum and Stuckey had admitted kidnapping and killing 20-year-old Nathan Blenner and taking a joyride in his car. They quickly recanted but were convicted of murder.

Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson had requested their convictions be thrown out because they hinged on untrue confessions made when the men were just teenagers. Their statements were also rife with inaccuracies and peppered with details seemingly supplied by police.

The admissions ‘were false in large part because these 16-year-olds were fed false facts,’ Thompson said. No other evidence except the confessions tied the two to 1985 abduction and killing, he said.

Theirs are the ninth and 10th decades-old convictions Thompson has disavowed since taking office this year, but the first in which he’s cited a false confession as the main reason.

More at The DailyMail

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