Brooklyn’s top prosecutor says he will move to vacate the convictions against two men for a 1985 murder after a review found that their cases rested on false confessions.
Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson said Wednesday that one of the men, David McCallum, should be released from prison; the other man, Willie Stuckey, died while he was incarcerated.
“From Day 1, I made a pledge to the people of Brooklyn, my pledge was to put the guilty away, but also to make sure our criminal justice system was based on fundamental fairness,” a post on Thompson’s Instagram account read.
McCallum and Stuckey were 16 when they were arrested and tried in the killing of 20-year-old Nathan Blenner. A jury moved to convict them on Oct. 27, 1986. The teens were each sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.
Their cases were reviewed by a special unit convened by the district attorney to re-examine old cases. The unit and an independent review panel found that the cases against McCallum and Stuckey rested on questionable confessions that were not supported by evidence.
The district attorney’s Conviction Review Unit continues to re-examine about 100 cases from the 1980s and 1990s.
So far, nine convictions have been vacated; one appeal has been dropped.