Doggedly Playing Lawyer, Inmate Overturns Conviction
New Yorker imprisoned for murder spends 15 years fighting case
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Dec 24, 2010 4:25 PM CST
A screen grab from video.   (Wall Street Journal video)

(Newser) – A New York man was jailed for a decade and a half for a murder he maintained he didn’t commit—and finally, after years of legal work behind bars, he was vindicated. The Wall Street Journal tells the story of a feat “so unbelievably hard…that it's almost impossible” to describe it, says an expert. Jabbar Collins worked tirelessly to prove his innocence.

When you’re in the position he was, the “only way you're going to get out is to become your own lawyer,” Collins says. So he did. After repeated denials, he managed to get information from and about those who’d testified against him. His quest—which included, at one point, adopting a false persona—revealed that prosecutors had given witnesses ulterior motives to support their case. Now, Collins is free, and putting his experience to use: he’s become a paralegal.

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Showing 2 of 13 comments
Dec 24, 2010 11:41 PM CST
and why isn't the prosecutor behind bars now????
Dec 24, 2010 4:51 PM CST
And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why the Death Penalty should NEVER EXIST. In a world where judges and lawyers care only about conviction rates and money, no body is safe in a court of law. If this man were convicted in Texas in 1995 he might not have survived long enough to prove his innocence.