Man falsely imprisoned for 23 years gets US$7 million
One of those officers, Louis Scarcella, a retired New York detective, has emerged in recent years as symbol of wrongful convictions, as numerous cases he handled have fallen apart. Under the terms of the agreement, reached on the eve of what would have been a trial in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, Scarcella admitted no wrongdoing. He had been scheduled, like Hamilton, to testify at the trial.
In 1991, when he was 28 and living in New Haven, Hamilton was arrested by Scarcella and the local police, accused of having murdered a Brooklyn man, Nathaniel Cash, whom he had known when he lived in the borough.
He spent much of the next 23 years performing jailhouse legal work. He pored over trial transcripts, filing motions on behalf of other inmates and occasionally winning their appeals. At one point — in Attica Correctional Facility — he filed papers challenging his long stint in solitary confinement, claiming it was “cruel and unusual punishment.”
The district attorney’s office has, however, maintained that Scarcella has not committed any punishable conduct or broken the law.
The group met for a while at the Brownstone Bar & Restaurant on Tillary Street in downtown Brooklyn, which Hamilton operated with Shabaka Shakur, a third man arrested by Scarcella and later exonerated. (The bar eventually closed down.)
On Tuesday, he was in court when a Brooklyn judge was scheduled to throw out the conviction of Eliseo Deleon in what will be the 15th exoneration linked to Scarcella’s detective work. Deleon spent 25 years in prison for a 1996 murder committed during a botched robbery in Clinton Hill. He has long maintained that Scarcella fabricated his confession.Read more: ABS-CBN News Channel
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