Brooklyn DA Seeks To Overturn Murder Conviction Of Man Who Spent 14 Years In Prison Due To Mistaken Identity

Aiexpress  –  The Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office announced on Thursday that they will overturn the conviction of a man who served 14 years for manslaughter in a 1996 fatal shooting case. This decision comes after a reinvestigation into the case revealed that it was a “case of mistaken identity.”

Steven Ruffin, who is now 45 years old, was convicted of manslaughter when he was just 18 years old. After serving a sentence of 14 years, he was released on parole in 2010, as stated by prosecutors.

Ruffin made a court appearance on Thursday at 2:30 p.m. while Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced that prosecutors intend to overturn the conviction. This decision comes after a thorough investigation conducted by his Conviction Review Unit.

District Attorney Gonzalez announced that after a thorough investigation conducted by the Conviction Review Unit, they have decided to rectify the old conviction and restore Mr. Ruffin’s reputation. He stated that a combination of factors, such as mistakes made by the defense counsel and a narrow focus by law enforcement, led to an unfortunate outcome in this case. It became apparent that Mr. Ruffin had been wrongly convicted for the crimes committed by someone else, whom he had consistently maintained was the actual culprit.

During the trial, the defense put forth the argument that the shooter was Ruffin’s sister’s boyfriend, who had handed over the murder weapon to the detective.

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During the trial testimonies, Ruffin’s claim was corroborated by his sister and two eyewitnesses, who all stated that Ruffin was with his sister down the block at the time of the shooting, according to officials.

According to authorities, when the boyfriend was called to testify, he repeatedly invoked his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent.

According to the district attorney’s office, during the trial, credible testimony revealed that Deligny was confronted by a group of young men. As Deligny reached into his coat pocket, one of the men uttered the words “it’s not him,” implying that he may have had a firearm. It was at this moment that Deligny was shot.

During the trial, Deligny’s sister provided testimony that identified the shooter as a man with a cracked tooth. This physical characteristic was shared by both Ruffin and her boyfriend. As a result, Ruffin was partially convicted based on this information.

During the investigation, Detective Louis Scarcella interrogated him, but Ruffin denied any involvement in the shooting on two occasions. However, his estranged father, who was a police officer, was brought to the precinct and managed to persuade him to confess. As a result, Ruffin’s third statement contained his confession.

According to the New York Daily News, Scarcella’s convictions from the ‘80s and ‘90s have been overturned, with over a dozen cases being successfully challenged.

Ruffin was acquitted of murder by the jury, but he was convicted of first-degree manslaughter, according to the district attorney’s office.

After thoroughly examining the case files, conducting interviews with the key individuals involved, the CRU reached a conclusive finding. It was determined that Ruffin’s lawyer, who has since passed away, had made a series of grave mistakes.

The defense attorney failed to present the court with evidence of the boyfriend’s cracked tooth. They also neglected to highlight the fact that the prosecution’s only witness did not go through a proper identification process involving the boyfriend. Furthermore, they missed the opportunity to question witnesses who were privy to the boyfriend’s confessions.

The CRU concluded that Ruffin’s confession and identification as the shooter lacked reliability, while his alibi appeared plausible. They also raised concerns about the tunnel vision and confirmation bias exhibited by the police and prosecutors involved in the case.

“I didn’t commit the crime, yet I lost 14 years of my life. Today marks a significant step towards moving on from that painful chapter,” stated Ruffin in a statement on Thursday. This statement was provided by his attorneys at the Legal Aid Society and obtained by the Daily News.

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