Friday, January 04, 2013

New York: 2 wrongfully convicted of murder set free

As supporters clapped, Eric Glisson and Cathy Watkins hugged in a Bronx courtroom today.

They are bound by a justice system gone awry. The two, who never knew each other, were first brought together more than 17 years ago, locked up along with 3 others for the murder of a livery cab driver in the Soundview section.

"I describe this as I'm free from the prison plantation. That's how I describe this," Watkins said.

"I'm looking forward. I'm not looking back," Eric Glisson said.
The murder case starting falling apart last spring after Glisson wrote a letter from prison to the US Attorney's Office, which then identified two gang members, federal cooperators, as the real killers.

The Bronx District Attorney's office finally released Glisson and Watkins last month, but insisted they wear monitoring bracelets.

Finally, prosecutors agreed to vacate all 5 convictions, but not to release the other 3 defendants.

What's momentous about this case of murder is that it involved a single eyewitness, now dead, who had lots of reasons to lie.

"As long as you're relying on a crackhead who gets paid, these wrongful convictions are never going to stop," defense attorney Paul Casteleiro said.

"There are plenty of people who are sitting in prison who are wrongfully convicted as we speak," Watkins said.

Watkins isn't sure about her plans, but Glisson, who was taking college classes in prison, is now a full-time student on a scholarship.

Original report here. Good video at link.

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