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Justice arrived for two New York City men who had their names cleared after being falsely convicted of murder and jailed.

On Monday (November 27), the office of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg asked judges to vacate the convictions of two men, Wayne Gardine and Jabar Walker. Both cases were found to have gotten convictions on the two men due to suspicious police work and witnesses who were found to have lied after the cases were investigated again by the Innocence Project and the Legal Aid Society, respectively.

The cases were linked to the notorious 30th Precinct in Harlem, which was previously so rife with corruption in the 1990s that it became known as the “Dirty 30.”  Walker was arrested after a witness (who later recanted claiming police pressure) claimed he fatally shot two men in 1994 and offered a plea deal by then-Manhattan DA Bob Morgenthau. Walker would turn it down citing his innocence and would be sentenced to 50 years in 1998. Gardine was also sentenced in 1994 after two witnesses claimed he murdered someone – one of the witnesses would confess later that he was pressured to lie by his boss, who was friends with the victim. The 49-year-old Gardine would serve 28 years of his sentence before coming up for deportation back to his native Jamaica.

The two cases came under the purview of the Post-Conviction Justice Unit launched by Bragg since he took office last year. Since its creation, over 500 cases have been vacated, with the majority being tied to police misconduct. It’s also compelled other city district attorneys to put together similar units. The legal teams for Walker and Gardine had no comment on whether both men intended to file civil lawsuits over their unjust convictions.

The 51-year-old Walker was present in the Manhattan courtroom when the decision was announced, shedding a tear. “I’m trying to process it right now,” Walker said to the press afterward, surrounded by his parents and family. “It feels real good to be out.” Gardine heard of his conviction being vacated through video conferencing while still in federal immigration detention in New Jersey. “It’s a horrible position to put someone in who has been wrongfully convicted. He spent nearly 30 years behind bars, and he’s still not free. It’s a very bittersweet ending to this story,” said Lou Fox, a staff attorney with the Legal Aid Society’s Wrongful Conviction Unit.

2 New York City Men Cleared After Wrongful Convictions Vacated, Served Combined 50 Years  was originally published on hiphopwired.com