Jonathan Fleming Released by Brooklyn D.A. 24 Years After Wrongful Conviction

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Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson
Derrick Hamilton, Shabaka Shakur, David Ranta, Derrick Deacon, Anthony Yarbough, Sharrif Wilson, Sundhe Moses, Kevin Smith, Eric Glisson, Cathy Watkins, Devon Ayers, Michael Cosme, Carlos Perez, Jabar Collins, William Lopez, et al.

Today we add Jonathan Fleming to the list: people released from prison within the last four years after a wrongful conviction during the Tough on Crime era of the '80s and '90s.

As Pro Publica first reported, Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson is dismissing charges against Fleming, who has spent the past 24 years in prison on a murder conviction.

See Also: Two Brooklyn Men Freed After 21 Years in Prison for Wrongful Triple-Murder Conviction

Prosecutors had accused Fleming of shooting 22-year-old Darryl Rush on August 15, 1989. The key evidence against him was the testimony of a witness who identified Fleming as the shooter.

Fleming's legal team, however, recently found evidence supporting Fleming's claim that he was in Florida on that day, at Disney World with his family.

As Pro Publica reported:

Investigators found a receipt showing that Fleming had paid a phone bill at a hotel in Florida just hours before the murder took place; an Orlando police report confirmed that several hotel employees remembered Fleming being there.

The team also found evidence supporting the claim that a key witness had only agreed to testify against Fleming to avoid criminal prosecution, unearthing a command log from the 90th Police Precinct showing the witness had been arrested prior to Fleming's trial.

At Fleming's trial, family members corroborated his alibi and defense attorneys presented plane tickets and home movies backing his story. Jurors, though, sided with prosecutors, who argued that Fleming flew from Florida back to New York to commit the murder before returning to Florida.

The witness who testified against Fleming recanted her identification just a few months later. The judge didn't believe her and upheld the conviction.


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