3 Innocent Men Released From Prison Following Wrongful Convictions in 1996 Case
George Bell, Rohan Bolt and Gary Johnson, who were wrongfully convicted of a double murder in Queens, New York City and incarcerated for the last 24 years, have been released from Green Haven Correctional Facility.
Their release follows today's decision of The Hon. Judge Joseph A. Zayas of the Queens County Supreme Court, who ordered the three men's convictions be vacated.
A joint motion was filed by the Queens District Attorney office ("Queens DA") and defense counsel for the three men requesting that the Court vacate all three convictions and release them on their own recognizance on the basis that prosecutors wrongfully withheld evidence from the defense lawyers for the three men. The defense motion also argued that the totality of the evidence establishes that Bell, Bolt and Johnson are innocent.
The Queens DA will advise the Court in 90 days whether she will consent to a finding that the convictions should be vacated on grounds of actual innocence.
Gary Johnson and Rohan Bolt are represented by Rita Dave, Esq. George Bell is represented by Marc Wolinsky, Anna Schwarz and Amanda Lee of Wachtell, Lipton Rosen & Katz; Scott Stevenson, Esq. of Aon plc; and David Crow, The Legal Aid Society.
The investigators working on the case were Luke Brindle-Khym and Charles Linehan of QRI (Quest Research and Investigations) and Kevin Hinkson. Pete Fiorello, retired NYPD Detective, was instrumental in bringing the case to defense counsel's attention.