Wednesday, October 15, 2014
David McCallum is free at last after serving 29 years for a murder he did not commit. He and Willie Stuckey were wrongfully convicted in 1984 for the kidnapping and murder of 20-year-old Nathan Blenner and sentenced to 25 years to life. Unfortunately, Stuckey will not taste freedom. He died in 2001.
Their wrongful convictions resulted from false confessions. They were 16-years-old when they were arrested and interrogated by police.
The New York Daily News has the story.
Brooklyn’s top lawman announced Wednesday he will throw out the 1985 convictions against two men, slamming his predecessor for leaving a mess of injustice.
“I inherited a legacy of disgrace with respect to wrongful convictions,” District Attorney Kenneth Thompson said when making it official that David McCallum, 45, will be freed after 29 years and the name of codefendant Willie Stuckey, who died in 2001, will be cleared.
As the Daily News first reported, McCallum’s release came after an advocacy drive, including an open letter by famed boxer Rubin (Hurricane) Carter that was published weeks before he died last April.
Carter, who served 19 years in a New Jersey prison for a triple murder he didn’t commit, became involved with innocence advocacy after his release.
Thompson said there “is not a single piece of evidence” that connected the two 16-year-old suspects to the crime — except for their brief confessions, which prosecutors have now concluded were false.
During their interrogations, police provided information to McCallum and Stuckey about the kidnapping and murder eventually ‘persuading’ them to agree that they committed the crime.
When the crimes were reinvestigated by Thompson’s office, they discovered that DNA evidence in the victim’s vehicle matched other men and “a witness who claimed he supplied Stuckey the gun through his aunt was lying, with the aunt contradicting his account.”