Society

Man Cleared After 21 years In Jail, Now Works Helping Other Wrongly Convicted Victims (Video)

| by Michael Allen

Derrick Hamilton spent 21 years in jail for a murder that he didn't commit.

Hamilton was cleared on Jan. 9 by a judge after prosecutors found that NYPD detective Louis Scarcella threatened a woman if she didn't testify against the African-American man in 1991. The woman, a drug-addicted prostitute, recanted her testimony years ago.

"Innocent people should not be in prison because of technicalities, no where in the nation, and that's what we stand for," the 49-year-old Hamilton said outside a Brooklyn courtroom, noted WABC (video below).

Scarcella's tactics have caused the reviews of multiple cases and the reversal of four convictions so far. In total, about 70 questionable cases are inked to Scarcella, who often used the same drug addict as a witness.

The witness testified said that the victim was shot in the chest by one gunman, even though the evidence showed the victim had been shot in the back by more than one gun.

Hamilton refused to admit any guilt, even when he was brought before parole boards for an early release. He was eventually paroled in 2011.

"I could not say I killed a man that I didn't kill," said Hamilton, who now works as a paralegal and helps defend others who have been wrongly convicted.

“Wrongful convictions ultimately destroy the lives of the people who are wrongfully convicted, as well as their families, and also do great damage to the integrity of the justice system," District Attorney Ken Thompson said in a statement, noted Reuters.

Sources: Reuters, WABC
Image Credit: WABC Screenshot