Judge Sonia Sotomayor Denied My Appeal and I Spent 16 Years in Prison For a Crime I Didn’t

Posted: September 17, 2009 in News and politics

 

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AlterNet: Judge Sonia Sotomayor Denied My Appeal and I Spent 16 Years in Prison For a Crime I Didn’t
Judge Sonia Sotomayor Denied My Appeal and I Spent 16 Years in Prison For a Crime I Didn’t CommitBy Jeffrey Deskovic, AlterNetPosted on July 10, 2009, Printed on September 17, 2009http://www.alternet.org/story/141197/My name is Jeffrey Deskovic. At age 17, I was wrongfully convicted of murder and rape, a conviction that was based upon a coerced, false confession, the fabrication of evidence, prosecutorial misconduct and fraud by a medical examiner. I was cleared 16 years later — almost three years ago — when DNA evidence proved my innocence, while also identifying the real perpetrator, who subsequently confessed to the crime. Since my release, I have made it my life’s mission to battle against wrongful convictions and fight for legislation that would minimize the chances of what happened to me happening to someone else. It is this fight that compels me to speak out about Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor.Before I was exonerated, I sought out every legal avenue I could to win my freedom. I defended my innocence before the New York Appellate Division, raising such proof as the fact that the physical evidence found did not match me and arguing that the police violated my rights by coercing a false confession from me at the age of 16. The court ruled against me 5 to 0, concluding that there was nothing wrong with my interrogation and stating that there was "overwhelming evidence of guilt," despite the fact that there was no evidence beyond my forced confession. In truth, the DNA and the hairs found on the victim’s body were evidence of my innocence.When my lawyer was denied a chance to reargue the case on the grounds that the court’s decision ran counter to the law and to the facts, we moved to the Court Of Appeals, the highest court in New York. I filed a

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