MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A Long Island man who spent a decade behind bars for attempted murder has been freed.
The Nassau County district attorney has determined that another man committed the crime.
Josiah Galloway walked hand in hand with his weeping mother moments after a judge set him free. Galloway had always insisted he was innocent, and after 10 years in prison, he was exonerated in a Mineola courthouse Thursday.
Galloway had been sentenced to 25 years for a road rage shooting of a cab driver in Hempstead.
“It feels good, to finally be vindicated from this… bump into a lot of people in prison going through this… something has to change.” Galloway told CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff.
The 2008 case was re-investigated after a caller in July tipped off the Nassau County DA’s office that the wrong man was in jail.
“They could no longer be silent, they knew that an innocent person had been in prison for almost ten years and they wanted to come forward,” Sheryl Anania of the Conviction Integrity Unit said.
The real attacker was reportedly much taller than Galloway, however the victim picked Galloway out of a police lineup instead. The actual shooter is currently in prison on unrelated charges. Unfortunately for the victim, the statute of limitations has run out on the case and the shooter cannot not be charged with the crime.
“It just emphasizes that misidentification is one of the biggest problems in the criminal justice system. Here we had two people who identified at trial, the descriptions didn’t really match, yet he was convicted,” defense attorney Joseph DeFelice explained.
Galloway, now 31 years old, say he never gave up hope. His mother, now battling cancer, said she’s glad to be alive to see her son released.