Man wrongfully convicted of 1990 murder speaks in Albany

June 14, 2019 11:51 AM

ALBANY - The Netflix miniseries, "When They See Us", which is based on a group of five young men who were accused of raping a woman in Central Park in 1989, has brought the topic of wrongful convictions back into the spotlight. A man on Thursday night shared his story of a similar experience to prevent future injustices from happening.

Jeffrey Deskovic was convicted of raping and killing his classmate at Peekskill High School in Westchester County in 1990. He was 17 years old.


He spoke before a crowd at the Pine Hills Public Library.

He says that as a teenager he wanted to be a cop, so he offered to help police officers with their investigation, but they suspected him and conducted polygraph exams without the presence of a lawyer or parent. 

Deskovic says he was questioned for six hours until an officer told him he could go home if he just confessed to the crime.

He spent 16 years in prison before he was exonerated based on DNA evidence.

"Wrongful convictions can happen to anybody, that there are systemic deficiencies that lead to wrongful convictions - many of which are still in place that have to be corrected by the Legislature, and maybe lastly to try to get everybody involved. It's important that elected officials know that wrongful convictions happen and that they matter and that people vote, and so we want some changes to stop what happened to me from happening to everybody else," he said.

Deskovic just recently graduated from Pace Law School in White Plains. He was in Albany to support Jessica Wilcox, who is running for Albany City Court Judge.


WNYT Staff

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