Posted at: 05/30/2012 6:23 PM
| Updated at: 05/31/2012 10:00 AM
By: Subrina Dhammi
ALBANY - Jeffery Deskovic spent 16 years in prison for rape and murder.
"Aside from being robbed of time and opportunity to build career security and families for ourselves, many of us witnessed or endured extreme brutality and violence while imprisoned," said Deskovic
Alan Newton spent 21 years in prison for rape and robbery.
"Nothing is more dreadful than prison life, where you lose more than your freedom, you also lose your identity," said Newton.
Fernando Bermudez spent more than 18 years in prison for the murder of a 16 year old.
"We lost everything, how many more New Yorkers must suffer the same fate," said Bermudez.
None of these men committed these crimes, yet they spent decades behind bars, while the real perpetrators remained free. Barry Scheck, with the 'Innocence Project', known for his work in the O.J. Simpson case, stood beside these wrongfully convicted men.
"Every citizen in New York state deserves these protections," said Scheck
Scheck urged lawmakers to pass reforms, he says police departments should be required to tape all interrogations, and police line-ups need to be more objective.
"This is not a republican or democratic issue, this is not a liberal or conservative issue, this is a public safety issue that everybody can support ."