NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson’s office announced Monday that he will exonerate Derrick Hamilton, who served 21 years in prison on a wrongful conviction after saying he was framed by an allegedly crooked police detective.
Hamilton was paroled after serving 21 years in the 1991 murder of Nathaniel Cash in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. He said he had several witnesses who prove his alibi that he was in Connecticut at the time of the murder, and the lone witness against him recanted her testimony.
Thompson’s office claimed the alleged witness was coerced by Brooklyn Detective Louis Scarcella.
Thompson called Hamilton into his office at the end of the day Monday, saying he would join Hamilton’s motion to toss his conviction and original indictment. The exoneration will be finalized before a judge on Friday morning, Thompson’s office said.
“I am delighted that DA Kenneth Thompson has decided to recommend that I be exonerated. From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank him and his investigators who so diligently reviewed my case and believed in me,” Hamilton said in the release. “He should be applauded for his efforts in my case and for all the other of wrongful convictions in Brooklyn he has promised to review. He has established a model of integrity that the other district attorneys in NYC must adopt.”
Scarcella, a once-decorated detective, has been accused of coaching witnesses, coercing confessions and trading drugs for testimony in multiple cases.
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