News 01.03.08

Marty Tankleff thanks supporters, calls for state reforms

A New York man who served 17 years in prison after he was wrongfully convicted of killing his parents in 1987 spoke out today about his long struggle for freedom and the reforms needed in New York state to ensure that others don’t suffer his fate.

Marty Tankleff was 17 years old when he woke up to find his mother dead and his father unconscious in the house he shared with them. His father would later die in the hospital, and Tankleff was immediately interrogated by detectives as a suspect. He was charged with the murders after allegedly making statements that he may have “blacked out” and committed the crimes. The “confession” was immediately recanted by Tankleff and he never signed the written version.

Today, Tankleff joined his attorneys and Innocence Project Co-Director Barry Scheck in calling for reforms in New York State – including an Innocence Commission and a law requiring the electronic recording of all interrogations – that would prevent future wrongful convictions.

"I knew I wasn't the only innocent man in jail," Tankleff, 36, said in the news conference at a Garden City law office. He thanked the lawyers and investigators who worked on his case, resulting in an appellate court's overturning his conviction, and the decision by the Suffolk County district attorney's office not to pursue another trial. "It's just been a long, long fight," Tankleff said. "I never gave up. They never gave up."


Read the full story here

. (New York Newsday, 01/03/08)


Read more about Tankleff’s case in a story in today’s New York Times

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Visit Tankleff’s website for legal filings and more background on the case

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Download an Innocence Project report on recommended reforms in New York

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