Man Locked Up for 18 Years Thanks to Misleading Photo ID, Prosecutors Say
The Brooklyn district attorney says a deceptive photo lineup helped imprison Sheldon Thomas for a killing he did not commit. He is to appear in court on Thursday.
This guy is fucked. It will take years for him to receive a settlement from NYC for the wrongful arrest and wrongful conviction. And he has no education, no prospect of being hired by anyone except a charity that might be doing work with ex-convicts and no chance for growth in a career. They robbed him of the chance for the American Dream and have suffered zero consequences for it. And that doesn’t begin to touch on the trauma he probably suffered in prison.
A lot of people don’t seem to understand that until we can treat imperfect people with fairness and equal justice under the law, we’ll continue to perpetuate a lot of the issues that plague us today.
The folks who knowingly used the wrong photo should be thrown in jail. Interesting how the “victim advocates” that are in every post about crime in this sub don’t give a shit about the multiple victims of this crime.
The judge ruled that the picture of the wrong man was of no legal consequence, that the men resembled one another
Wtf. "All young black men look the same", seriously? How was this judge still allowed to be a judge after making this kind of argument?
I absolutely believe that judges and prosecutors need to be able to work with independence, but goodness gracious there has to be consequences for blatant misconduct like this. It’s one thing to make a good faith mistake because you misinterpreted the evidence available to you, but it’s a completely different thing to deliberately and knowingly peddle bullshit in court like this. Unbelievable.
Read the archived article for free here
For nearly 20 years, one photograph stood between Sheldon Thomas and freedom.
It was a picture of the wrong Sheldon Thomas.
In 2004, police officers showed the image of a young Black man to a witness, who chose him from an array of six as a suspect in a fatal shooting in Brooklyn’s East Flatbush neighborhood. That identification withstood scrutiny through an indictment, trial and appeals over more than 18 years.
But now, the Brooklyn district attorney’s office is saying that detectives, prosecutors and the original trial’s judge knew from the outset that the photo in the array wasn’t actually of the man they wanted to arrest, but they proceeded anyway.