An innocent Brooklyn man who spent 29 years being bars for murder has been freed.
David McCallum, along with his pal and prison mate Willie Stuckey, were cleared by prosecutors of a 1985 homicide they were convicted of at age 16. Stuckey died of a heart attack in 2001.
“I want to go home, finally,” David McCallum, 45, said after taking his first steps as a free man. “It’s a bittersweet moment because I’m walking out alone. There’s someone else that is supposed to walk out with me but unfortunately he’s not.”
While making the announcement, Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson slammed his predecessor for leaving behind a mess of injustice. “I inherited a legacy of disgrace with respect to wrongful convictions,” the DA said.
McCallum’s release — first reported by the Daily News — came after an advocacy drive, including an op-ed by famed boxer Rubin (Hurricane) Carter that was published in the paper weeks before he died last April. Carter, who served 19 years in New Jersey for a triple murder he didn’t commit, became involved with innocence advocacy after his release.
Since taking office in January, Thompson has revamped and renamed the conviction review unit. He has cleared 10 men, two of them posthumously, who did time for murders they did not commit.
A deeper looks into McCallum’s case revealed that the conviction had remnants of a false confession and that McCallum and Stuckey were fed information.
Kudos to Thompson for righting the wrongs imposed by his predecessors. We wish Mr. McCallum the best as he enters this new phase of life.
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