Thursday, March 10, 2016

NY man's 1991 murder conviction expected to be overturned

Mar. 10, 2016

After a woman was found dead, naked, beaten and dragged into a cross-like position in a park, the friend with whom she left her apartment that night was convicted of murder.

But a quarter century later, Andre Hatchett is on track to be freed from prison and have his conviction overturned after prosecutors and defense lawyers said Thursday a review of his case had found too many problems for it to stand, reports CBS New York.

Hatchett's then-lawyers were never told that prosecutors' star witness had originally identified another man as the killer. The witness falsely denied on the stand that he'd smoked crack on the day of the killing. And the fact that Hatchett had injuries that raise doubts about his ability to carry out the crime went unmentioned at trial.

"Bad judgment and errors plagued this case from beginning to end," one of his lawyers, Jim Brochin, said in a statement ahead of a court date Thursday afternoon, when Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson's office planned to ask a judge to throw out Hatchett's conviction.


neither side mentioned anything at Hatchett's trial about his own medical condition that day. He was on crutches, having been shot in the legs and trachea months earlier, injuries that would have made it difficult for him to drag Carter's body and shout at the witnesses.

The first attempt to convict Hatchett ended in a mistrial after the judge found the defense lawyer had been ineffective. Hatchett was retried and convicted after testifying in his defense and presenting an alibi witness.


His case was among more than 100 that Brooklyn prosecutors have been re-examining, in one of the most ambitious reviews of its kind in the country. So far, the office has disavowed 19 convictions and is standing by 38 others.

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