Innocence International: the exoneration of David McCallum

A sweet day Wednesday October 15th when justice was finally served. David McCallum’s conviction was overturned by Judge Matthew D-Emic in the Brooklyn Supreme Court. McCallum served 29 years for a murder he did not commit, as you can read here in these pages. The conviction of the deceased, Willie Stuckey, was also vacated. This has been a spectacular week for justice and much of the credit goes to Ken Thompson, the new Brooklyn District Attorney, who has dedicated himself to investigating and overturning wrongful convictions in Brooklyn, saying that he inherited a “legacy of disgrace”. Of course a super team of lawyers and support people and David’s legal research and indefatigable nature had something to do with it as well.

Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, (1937-2014) Founder (2004) and CEO of Innocence International

Oscar Michelen, CuomoLLC, New York

Steve Drizin, Northwestern University, Bluhm Legal Clinic

Professor Laura Cohen, Rutgers University Law School

Ray Klonsky and Marc Lamy, filmmakers, “David and Me”, New York, Montreal

Joan K. Ustin, Educational consultant, Charleston, SC

Mary Ellen Belfiore, Educational consultant, Vancouver, BC

Gary Dolin, Psychiatric Social Worker, Belligham, WA

Special Mention to Andrei Schiller-Chan, Sydney Australia and so many other well wishers and contributors to David.

I can only say that, certainly in this one case, Truth has triumphed and justice, however late, has really happened.  I can only add that Rubin’s actual presence at the overturning of the conviction was the only thing that was missing. But he was there, whether his spirit inhabited the members of the team or whether his spirit inhabited the space. I cannot believe that something greater than the known world was somehow in operation, some miraculous force that turned the tide from Ken Thompson’s election in November of 2013. Hey, politics matter and so do metaphysics!

David is happy to know (and we are just as happy) that he’ll be with his family for Thanksgiving, his birthday (December 10th) and Christmas for the first time in 29 years.

Now, on to Rubin Carter’s last case: Sebastian Burns and Atif Rafay who have also, like David and Willie, been wrongly convicted. We are also delighted to report that Innocence International may have found a legal group to take its name and to continue Rubin’s legacy. More on this in a future post.

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About ken

I am a former Toronto teacher and writer now living in Vancouver. I work with Dr. Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter, with whom I published Eye of the Hurricane: My path from Darkness to Freedom (Chicago review Press, 2011), as Director of Media Relations and as an advocate for wrongly convicted prisoners. Other publication credits include Songs of Aging Children (Arsenal Pulp Press, 1992) a book of short stories about troubled youth, and Taking Steam, a play co-authored with the late Brian Shein, staged at New York's Jewish Repertory Theatre and Toronto in 1983. Life Without (Quattro Books, 2012) is a novella about a New York cab driver wrongly convicted of killing his pregnant wife. Gary Geddes (Lt. Governor's Award for Literary Excellence) described it as "one of the most brilliant and harrowing short novels I've read since I went on a John Hawkes binge."

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