Brooklyn Man Poised to be Exonerated Today
One month after a New York judge overturned the conviction of three men in response to evidence uncovered in the Brooklyn district attorney’s ongoing review of Louis Scarcella — a retired detective who handled some of Brooklyn’s most notorious crimes in the 1980s and 1990s– another Brooklyn man is poised to be exonerated as a result of the same inquiry. Last year the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Conviction Integrity Unit announced that it would reopen every murder conviction that was investigated by Scarcella because his methods have, according to the
New York Times
, “come under attack” in recent years.
Roger Logan was convicted of the 1997 shooting death of Sherwin Gibbons that same year and sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. Nearly 17 years later, the Brooklyn district attorney’s office looked into what really happened the night of the shooting and discovered that the wrong person was convicted. The
New York Times
reported that the perpetrator meant to shoot at a man who had stolen a gold chain at a dice game and that Gibbons was not the intended target.
Logan, who had maintained his innocence since his arrest, contacted the district attorney’s office when he heard about the Scarcella review. During his trial, the prosecution argued that it was Logan’s gold chain that was stolen during a dice game and that he shot Gibbons in retaliation. His conviction was based largely on the eyewitness identification of Aisha Jones who said she saw Logan firing shots as she looked out her window.
During Logan’s recent case review it was discovered that Jones had been arrested the day before the shooting and that, according to records, she was in police custody until at least 7 p.m. the day of the shooting. Other witnesses said the dice game occurred a few days before the shooting and that because Logan got his chain back, he felt he was even with the robbers.
Jones’ account of what happened was discredited and District Attorney Kenneth Thompson plans to move to vacate the conviction at a court hearing today.
Thompson’s office has already vacated six convictions since the review got underway. Two were overturned based on DNA evidence; three because the testimony of a frequent Scarcella witness was discredited; and the sixth was based on a receipt and police reports showing that the defendant was out of state when the crime took place.
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