NEW YORK (WABC) --Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson said two men who've served years in prison were wrongfully convicted of a 1985 killing. He said they falsely confessed to kidnapping and shooting a man and taking his car.
A judge threw out the convictions of David McCallum and the late Willie Stuckey.
45-year-old David McCallum held his head in his hands, sobbing in a Brooklyn courtroom as supporters applauded. He was free at last after 29 years of wrongful imprisonment.
"That was just pure emotion. I'm very sad at the same time because in some ways this situation in some ways could have been avoided," said David McCallum, wrongfully convicted.
Because the current Brooklyn District attorney now says McCallum and a codefendant, Willie Stuckey, who died in prison 13 years ago, should never have been prosecuted for a 1985 Queens murder. The only evidence was the false confessions of two teenagers.
"No physical evidence, no DNA evidence. No testimonial evidence," said Kenneth Thompson, the Brooklyn District Attorney.
In the past 10 months, Ken Thompson has vacated the wrongful convictions of nine men, saying he walked into a legacy of disgrace.
"I don't know any other way to describe it, Sarah. I think the people of Brooklyn deserve better and I think we should not have a national reputation for a place where people have been railroaded," Thompson said.
McCallum said he has mixed emotions about his release. The mother of Willie Stuckey appeared in court for her dead son.
"Of course it is bittersweet because I am walking out alone," McCallum said.
McCallum's case caught the attention of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter who founded Innocence International in Canada after his exoneration in 1985. He died a few months ago but his legacy lives on in McCallum's heart.
"He said your life really starts when you leave prison. I think my life kind of starts from this point on," McCallum said.