COURIER L 24 IFE, OCT. 11-17, 2019
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Brooklyn man exonerated for Bed-
Stuy murder after 26 years in prision
Weeks had been locked up for murdering a 21-year-old man and shooting a 10-year-old girl
in the face in 1993 — until a recent investigation cast doubt on his guilt, and he was set free
on Oct. 3. Photo by Aidan Graham
BY AIDAN GRAHAM
A Brooklyn judge vacated a 1995
murder conviction on Thursday, setting
46-year-old Carlos Weeks free after a renewed
investigation into the decadesold
case cast doubt on his guilt.
“There are no words that could possibly
be said to give Mr. Weeks those
years back,” said Supreme Court Justice
Dineen Rviezzo. “I vacant the conviction
and dismiss the indictment with
prejudice. Mr. Weeks — you’re free to go.
Best of luck to you sir.”
Weeks — who has spent over half his
life behind bars — cracked only a faint
smile as the judge overturned the murder
conviction, appearing simultaneously
anxious and elated as he stood in
court and regained the freedom he lost
26 years ago.
“I’m feeling good and happy to be
out,” said Weeks as he left the courthouse
on his own volition. “I feel great.”
The Brooklyn District Attorney’s offi
ce fi led a motion to overturn the conviction
on Oct. 3 after a months long reexamination
of the evidence found that
the sole eye witnesses recanted their
statements and the other supporting evidence
was deemed uncorroborated.
“We cannot stand by this conviction,”
said Gonzalez, calling the case a
“a miscarriage of justice.”
The newly freed man had been accused
of murdering a 21-year-old man
and shooting a 10-year-old girl in the
face outside of the Thompkins projects
building at Thompkins and Myrtle avenues
in July 1993.
Days after the shooting, another
man — Marshall Taylor — told cops that
Weeks had privately confessed to fi ring
the fatal shot.
An hour after that statement to police,
Taylor’s mother and aunt both testifi
ed to witnessing Weeks fi ring off a
pistol during the shooting from their
window, 12 fl oors above ground level.
Police arrested the suspect, and he
was convicted by a jury in 1995 of second
degree murder and fi rst-degree assault.
In 2015, however, lawyers with the
non-profi t legal aid society began pushing
the District Attorney’s Conviction
Review Unit to revisit the case — claiming
the “eyewitness” testimonies were
implausible given their perch a dozen
fl oors above the shooting.
Reps with the DA’s offi ce then sought
to re-interview the two supposed witnesses
— one of whom claimed she forgot
the whole incident, and another who
claimed she made up her testimony because
“there was so much pressure” to
pin the blame on Weeks.
Gonzalez appeared in court on
Thursday to watch the wrongfully convicted
man walk free — the sixth case
vacated since Gonzalez took over as District
Attorney in late 2016.
At a rate of two exonerated convicts
per-year, however, Gonzalez lags behind
his predecessor Kenneth Thompson —
who helped overturn 21 cases during his
32-month tenure between January 2014
and October 2016.
A Gonzalez spokesman pushed back
on the notion that the prosecutor’s offi
ce has been more conservative than it
had under the previous administration
— arguing that Thompson’s number
was infl ated because of numerous cases
where multiple defendants were exonerated
at once .
For his part, the newly-free Weeks
expressed hope that prosecutors would
continue to re-evaluate old convictions
like his quarter-century stint behind
“I hope Gonzalez continues with his
Conviction Review Unit work,” said
Weeks as he left court. “There’s a lot of
guys up there that need it.”
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