New York man, 47, falsely imprisoned on Rikers Island for 24 years for a murder he did not commit, finally destroyed his judgment after a key witness admitted she was forced by a corrupt agent & # 39;
- Pablo Fernandez, 47, was released from Rikers Island on August 2 after a 24-year jail for a fake murder
- Fernandez was wrongly convicted of murder in 1996 for the contract with the death of gang leader Manny Quinetero, 18, in 1993
- An appeal court overturned Fernandez's conviction in February after a witness said his testimony was being forced by former NYPD officer Albert Melino
- Three eyewitnesses told that court officials showed Melino a photo of Fernandez and ordered them to say he was the shooter
A New York man, 47, who has been in prison for the last 24 years for a murder he did not commit, has finally set aside his sentence.
Pablo Fernandez, 47, who was released on August 2 after more than two decades behind bars, told the New York Post: & # 39; It was so hard for me to be in jail for so many years when I knew the case against me was completely made up. & # 39;
& # 39; I survived because of my faith in God and because my family and lawyers never believed in my innocence, & he said.
In 1996, Fernandez was wrongly convicted of murder in the 1993 contract whereby the death of gang leader Manny Quinetero, 18, was shot in a busy street in Harlem.
Exempt New Yorker Pablo Fernandez let out a sigh of relief after he first ran away from Rikers Island (photo) in August 2 for more than two decades on a free man
An appeal court overturned Fernandez's conviction in February after a witness said his testimony was given by former NYPD officer Albert Melino (photo) who was fired in the aftermath of Fernandez & # 39; s conviction after investigators discovered that the officer had a sold half a kilo of cocaine before joining the armed forces. Three eyewitnesses told that court officials showed Melino a photo of Fernandez and ordered them to say he was the shooter
In February, a court of appeal of three judges overturned Fernandez & # 39; s sentence after Jesus Calea, a major witness in the Quinetero murder trial, falsely admitted identifying Fernandez as the murderer of the deceased gang leader.
Calea became the last in a series of witnesses who recalled their story about Fernandez over the years, according to the Post.
He told the court that his testimony had been made by former NYPD officer Albert Melino, who was fired in the aftermath of Fernandez's conviction after investigators discovered that Melino had sold half a kilo of cocaine before joining the force, according to court reports.
Despite the recognition of Calea, prosecutors still refused to acknowledge Fernandez's innocence after the court ruling earlier this year. Instead, they offered to give him credit for the time he would have served if he were to be responsible for manslaughter.
Manhattan assistant DA Jeanne Olivo reluctantly gave up the case on September 13 and asked Justice Curtis Farber to dismiss the charges against Fernandez for lack of evidence
Fernandez refused the plea and was forced to stay in jail for another six months until a judge gave him $ 250,000 bail against the prosecutor's wishes.
Manhattan assistant district attorney Jeanne Olivo promised provocatively to try again the case against Fernandez after his release in August, but the ruthless public prosecutor gave it on September 13 and asked Curtis Farber to dismiss the charges against Fernandez for lack of evidence.
A total of three eyewitnesses later told that court officials Melino had shown them a picture of Fernandez and ordered them to say he was the shooter, showing court reports.
The defense lawyers of Fernandez later found a second victim in the shooting called Henry Gomez, who got a non-lethal shot. Authorities could not find Gomez prior to the Hernandez trial. Gomez has since testified that Hernandez was not the man who shot him.
& # 39; The case against Mr Fernandez was built from the outset on police and public prosecutors' offices and prosecutions by government witnesses, & # 39; said lawyer Brown to the Post and described his client's exemption as & # 39; bitter sweet & # 39 ;.
Two decades of Fernandez & # 39; s life were stolen from him by the state, but the 47-year-old is more focused on what he has gained than on what he has lost.
& # 39; It is such a blessing for my mother, who is 83 years old, to see me again as a free man, & # 39; he said.
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