Friday, May 2, 2014

Bulletin: John Restivo; Dennis Halstead; New York; Massive $36 million award after jury in federal civil rights lawsuit finds that lead detective fabricated hair evidence and hid other evidence from prosecutors. Associated Press. (Wall Street Journal);

STORY: "2 New York men awarded $36M in wrongful conviction," reported by the Associated Press; Published by the Wall Street Journal on April 16, 2014. (Thanks to the Wrongful Conviction Blog for bringing this case to our attention. HL);

GIST: "Two suburban New York men who spent 18 years in prison for the 1984 rape and murder of a 16-year-old girl, only to be exonerated when a DNA test showed that another unknown assailant had committed the crimes, were awarded $18 million each Thursday in a federal civil rights lawsuit. The verdict, announced in U.S. District Court in Central Islip, followed a four-week trial. The jury found that the lead detective in the 1984 Nassau County police investigation had both fabricated hair evidence and hid other evidence from prosecutors. ........All charges were dismissed against the men in 2005 after DNA testing — unavailable in the 1980s — proved that the rape and murder of Theresa Fusco, of Lynbrook, had been committed by another man. That person has never been apprehended.........Nick Brustin, one of the attorneys representing Restivo and Halstead, said the jury verdict proved his clients were the victims of intentional misconduct by Nassau County detectives. "When a promising initial lead reached a dead end, Volpe, desperate to solve this high profile crime, planted hairs from the victim's head in John Restivo's van, and deliberately hid evidence that proved their innocence," Brustin said in a statement. "Today a jury finally acknowledged what the County never has — that its own officers' intentional misconduct robbed these innocent men of eighteen years of their lives.""

The entire story can be found at:

See comprehensive Wrongful Convictions Blog post with supporting links: "Defense attorneys secured an affidavit from the prosecution’s expert who had concluded that the hairs allegedly found in the van were decomposed to an extent that they did not fit the crime theory and were autopsy hairs “commingled with others from the van—whether through negligence or misconduct.”"


Dear Reader. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog. We are following this case.
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The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

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Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog;