4 Accused Killers Freed After Convictions Overturned
3 of the men were behind bars for 17 years, another for 23
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 24, 2013 3:21 PM CST

(Newser) – Four New York men saw their murder convictions overturned and were released from prison yesterday in two unrelated cases, notes Daily Intel.

  • Michael Cosme, Devon Ayers, and Carlos Perez were behind bars for 17 years after being convicted of two murders in 1995. They had already been exonerated of killing a cab driver, and two others convicted in that case were freed last month. But Cosme, Ayers, and Perez were still in prison for the second murder, until prosecutors asked a judge to vacate their sentences, the New York Times reports. The second slaying had been too closely linked to the first, the prosecutors said. They have 90 days to see if there's any new evidence.

  • William Lopez was in prison for 23 years after being convicted of killing a man during a robbery attempt on a drug den in 1989, the Wall Street Journal reports. The only witness to identify Lopez as the murderer later admitted to being on a two-day crack bender the night of the killing, and Lopez's case was further plagued by defense attorneys who didn't follow up on appeals, investigate evidence that could have cleared Lopez, or interview the people who said they were with him at the time of the murder. The judge also noted insufficient evidence when overturning the conviction. Prosecutors plan to appeal the decision, and potentially re-try Lopez.

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Showing 3 of 14 comments
Jan 25, 2013 11:08 AM CST
The sad thing is, these men will never have real lives. The record is never expunged thoroughly enough for them to get a job or their own residence, even if they weren't mentally destroyed by the years of incarceration. They may get out of prison, but there's no support system for them once they do. It's a bitter parody of "freedom".
Jan 25, 2013 5:21 AM CST
There are 13 men in federal prisons for every woman there. I suspect that the number of innocent men in America's prisons exceeds the total number of women there. But unfortunately, this continues because men do not fight for justice for other men. Women do fight for justice for other women. Male culture thrives on competition. One man's loss is another man's gain. Women regard one woman's loss as a loss for all women. The people who put innocent men in prison tend themselves to be men.
Jan 25, 2013 3:16 AM CST
The prosecutors plan to refile charges. There's three reasons for that. First, they HAVE to try to save face, to "maintain the public's confidence." Second, prosecutors must try to avoid lawsuits. Finally, they are also trying to avoid leagal action against themselves. Prosecutors have been bisbarred for prosecutorial misconduct. I don't know if that occured in these cases, but being New York cases it is a definite possibility.