The three brothers have been sent to prison after Louis Scarcella, an ex-NYPD homicide detective, handled their case.
The wrongfully accused brothers, Robert Hill, Darryl Austin and Alvena Jenette, have been exonerated by a Brooklyn judge eight months ago after a lengthy probe by D.A. Kenneth Thompson.
More than 70 murder cases that have been handled by the former detective are currently being investigated by the district attorney’s unit in charge of reviewing the convictions . The unit has found indications that the witnesses have been coerced, their confessions false and the evidence that could have exonerated the accused were made “lost”.
More than a dozen of the murder cases that are being reviewed, including the murder accusations of the three half-brothers, have relied on the testimony of Teresa Gomez, a now deceased drug addicted prostitute.
The prosecutor who helped the brothers’ convictions to be overturned by the Brooklyn judge, argued that the witness Teresa Gomez was a drug addict, had a history of criminal conduct and was very erratic in terms of her accounts.
One of the wrongfully accused brothers, Austin, died in prison at the age of 37, 14 years ago. He was also sent to prison despite being innocent of the charges brought upon him. He was accused of murder in 1995.
The eldest of the three brothers, Hill, now 53, was sent to prison after being found guilty of a murder that took place in 1987. He spent 26 years in prison, although being innocent.
The youngest of the three, Jenette, now 50, spent 21 years in prison and was Austin’s co-defendant in the 1985 murder accusations.
Derrick Hamilton, another man arrested by detective Scarcella, was exonerated on Friday after serving more than 20 years in prison. He was paroled in 2011.
In 2013, David Ranta was released from prison after spending 23 years for the murder of a rabbi. Scarcella had framed Ranta after coercing a witness to pick him out of a line of suspects. New York City gave Ranta a $6 million as a settlement.
Image Source: nytimes