by Chidi Okoye
After new DNA evidence emerged, a man wrongly convicted of murder has regained his freedom after spending 28 years in prison.
David McCallum was 16-years-old, when he was jailed for the kidnap of murder of Nathan Blenner, in New York in 1985.
McCallum and his accomplice, Stuckey were arrested in 1985 , and they admitted to kidnapping and killing Queens resident Mr Blenner and taking his car for a joyride. They would later withdraw their confessions but they were convicted of murder and each sentenced to 25 years behind bars in 1986.
After McCallum’s lawyers wrote a letter to Mr Thompson in January arguing that neither DNA nor fingerprints found at the scene of the crime matched those of their client or Mr Stuckey, a new investigation was carried out by the DA.
The investigation led to the discovery that the convictions were based on false confessions.
This week, a judge overturned their convictions after agreeing that neither DNA nor handprints found at the scene of the crime matched those of the defendants.
McCallum would walk out alone, after Stuckey died in prison in 2001, however, his mother was present at Brooklyn Supreme Court to witness Judge Matthew D’Emic clear him posthumously.
45-year-old McCallum, who has for long, campaigned to overturn his sentence, said his freedom was ‘bittersweet’.
He stated, “It is a bittersweet moment because I’m walking out alone. There’s someone else who’s supposed to be walking out with me. I’m really very happy but very sad at the same time.”
District Attorney (DA) Kenneth Thompson, said in court, “David McCallum walked into prison as a boy. Today he will walk out of the courthouse as a man. My main duty as a DA is not just to convict, but to do justice. We should not have a national reputation as a place where people are railroaded and convicted of murders they did not commit.”