After spending almost three decades in prison for a crime he did not commit, David McCallum was cleared of a 1985 homicide and ordered free Wednesday by a judge at the prosecutor’s request, International Business Times reports.
"I'm very, very happy but very, very sad at the same time because this situation in some ways could have been avoided,” the 45-year-old told reporters at the State Supreme Court in his hometown of Brooklyn.
“It’s a bittersweet moment because I’m walking out alone. There’s someone else that is supposed to walk out with me but unfortunately he’s not,” McCallum added, referring to his late co-defendant and friend Willie Stuckey, whose conviction was also overturned. Stuckey died in prison of a heart attack in 2001.
At 16 years old, both McCallum and Stuckey were found guilty of kidnapping and murdering Nathan Blenner and sentenced to between 25 years and life in prison.
The overturned conviction came at the request of Brooklyn district attorney Ken Thompson amid his review of more than 100 old cases. Thompson insisted the two men had been “fed false facts,” leading to their false confessions, and that “not a single piece of evidence” attached them to Brenner’s death.
“When I walked through the doors of this office in January, I inherited a legacy of disgrace with respect to wrongful conviction cases,” Thompson said in a recent announcement.
He also added that there may be more wrongful convictions to uncover and promised to look into “any credible claim of wrongful convictions.”
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(Photo: AP Photo/Seth Wenig)