Brooklyn judge voids convictions tied to former detective - KMSP-TV

Brooklyn judge voids convictions tied to former detective

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Cheers erupted in Brooklyn Supreme Court Tuesday as Robert Hill -- who spent 27 years in prison for murder -- had his conviction vacated. Now a free man, he said he had just two things on his mind: to home to his family and to take a bath.

Hill is one of seven men in recent months to see their convictions vacated. But not all walked free.

Louise Austin was in court for her son, Darryl Austin, who died in prison 14 years ago and was vindicated posthumously.

Alvena Jennette was paroled in 2007.

All three men happen to be half-brothers who spent decades in prison convicted of two separate murders, until now.

David Ranta had his conviction vacated last year. After that, the Brooklyn district attorney vowed to look into more than 50 other cases involving former NYPD Detective Louis Scarcella. Both defense attorneys and prosecutors say Scarcella used a self-confessed crack head, now dead, to falsely finger innocent men, including the three brothers just vindicated.

But Scarcella's lawyers said their client stands by his investigations and pointed out that the DA's office did not declare the men innocent.

Legal expert Matthew Galluzzo, a criminal defense attorney not professionally involved in any of the cases, told Fox 5 that prosecutors had failed to turn over exculpatory evidence.

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