Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Shawn'Dya Simpson, who overturned the conviction based on the evidence, was overwhelmed with emotion herself because of the circumstances that led to Bunn being jailed at such a young age.
John Bunn wept and clutched the hands of the judge who exonerated him after he spent 17 years of his life behind bars for a crime he did not commit.
An emotional Bunn was crying Tuesday after prosecutors said they would dismiss the charges against him, The New York Daily News reports. Despite maintaining his innocence, corrupted evidence by former detective Louis Scarcella helped to place Bunn and 16-year-old Rosean Hargrave behind bars for almost two decades.
Bunn, 41, has always maintained his innocence in the deadly Crown Heights shooting that killed Rolando Neischer and seriously injured Robert Crosson.
"I didn't deserve any of that stuff that you all did to me", Bunn told prosecutors, per CNN.
"I want y'all to know that y'all convicted and had the wrong man in prison", he said.
"They won't admit I'm an innocent man", he said. "You were 14 at the time. This shouldn't have ever happened".
Bunn's lawyers told reporters he deserved an apology. Defense lawyers said Bunn and another man, Rosean Hargrave, were framed for Neischer's murder. According to the New York Post, the now-retired detective placed the teens pictures in a photo array for Crosson.
"It would be nice to have that stated to him so that he could really feel fully vindicated, but we don't have that and it is unfortunate they didn't go there", said Glenn Garber, the director of the Exoneration Initiative. "There was no probable cause to make an arrest". He founded the organization A Voice 4 The Unheard, to raise awareness about the issues that plague the prison system.
"I don't know how I made it this far, but I believe I am here for a goal". He served 17 years in prison and was paroled in 2009, but he kept up the fight to clear his name. The New York Post reported that nearly a dozen cases of Scarcella's have been overturned amid allegations of misconduct.
"This case was tried ..., a jury was picked, testimony was given and it concluded all in one day", Simpson said of Bunn's case.
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