Saturday, June 06, 2015

Man wrongly convicted of murder 27 years ago has to spend an extra week in prison due to a paperwork mix up

A man who spent 27 years in prison after being wrongly convicted of a double murder has to face an additional week in jail because of a paperwork issue.

Shabaka Shakur, 50, was found guilty of double murder in 1988, but his conviction was overturned on Friday and Brooklyn prosecutors said they would not try him again.

He expected to walk free that day, but officials at Shawagunk Correctional Facility in Wallkill, New York, said he can't be released without the original order of release, which apparently was not accessible at the time.

'I'm disappointed, but I can wait a couple more days,' Shakur told the New York Daily News. 'I thought I was going home today.'

Brooklyn Justice Desmond Green signed the release order that is needed for Shakur to be released, and it could take about a week to get the order to prison officials, the defendant's lawyers said.

Shakur's lawyers said that a false confession used by an NYPD detective led to their client being framed and wrongly convicted.

Shakur has spend more than half his life in prison after being convicted of murder two high school classmates in January 1988 during a fight over car payments.

Detective Louis Scarcella claimed that Shakur had confessed to him, which led to the conviction.

But the defendant's lawyer, Ron Kuby, said Scarcella framed Shakur and that the confession was made up.

There was no recording of Shakur's admission, and he had never signed the confession. Notes of the interview were lost.

'I have nothing to say to him,' Shakur told the Daily News of Scarcella. 'This guy ruined families. I just want him to be investigated.'

Dozens of Scarcella's cases are being reviewed by prosecutors for possible wrongdoing. Judges have reversed convictions in eight of his cases already, but Scarcella's lawyer insisted the detective is innocent.

Despite being in prison for an additional week, Shakur is looking forward to his future. He told the Daily News that he hopes to work with other wrongly convicted prisons once he is released.

'There's a lot of innocent guys in here,' he said. 'I want to help these other brothers out.'

Original report here

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