An editorial in today's Newark Star-Ledger calls for prosecutors to act soon on the charges pending against Byron Halsey in New Jersey.
Most frightening is the lack of speed with which the criminal justice system corrects its mistakes. Prosecutors are still debating whether to retry Halsey. Though he walked into the sunlight on Tuesday, he is hardly a free man. He was released on $55,000 bail, required to wear an electronic monitor and remains under indictment.
That's the case even though both the prosecution and defense joined in the motion to vacate his conviction after lawyers from the Innocence Project, a nonprofit organization that became involved in Halsey's case three years ago, said DNA shows a neighbor is the source of the semen found on the little girl's underwear. That neighbor, Clifton Hall, is in prison for three sex crimes committed in the early 1990s in Plainfield.
Considering the initial DNA results came back in December and more conclusive ones followed in January, it's difficult to comprehend why it will take another two months to decide whether Halsey will be tried again or the charges dropped altogether.
Halsey deserves to know now.
Read the full editorial here
. (Newark Star-Ledger, 5/17/07)
Halsey was released from prison on Tuesday after seving more than 19 years for the murders of two children that he didn't commit. Read the Innocence Project
press release on the case
media coverage of Halsey's release