D.A. Frees Man After|30 Years Behind Bars

     BROOKLYN (CN) – A man who spent nearly 30 years in prison for a kidnapping and murder to which he confessed, but did not commit, will get his first full day of freedom Thursday.
     David McCallum was released from prison Wednesday afternoon after newly minted Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson reviewed the case and found that he and Willie Stuckey were wrongly convicted for the 1985 kidnapping and murder of Nathan Blenner when they were just 16.
     Stuckey died in prison.
     The two were charged with kidnapping the 20-year-old man in October 1985 outside his Queens home and shooting him twice in the head. Blenner’s body was found by children the next day in an empty Bushwick, Brooklyn lot.
     McCallum and Stuckey were arrested the next day, and convicted of second-degree murder the next year. They both got 25 years to life – the maximum.
     Thompson said his Conviction Review Unit found that the confessions were “false and not supported by physical or testimonial evidence,” and that a jury’s ability to oversee a fair trial was “significantly corrupted.”
     Thompson, who unseated former DA Charles Hynes, noted that his newly created Conviction Review Unit has resulted in nine convictions being vacated and one appeal dropped. His office says about 100 more cases are pending review.

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