Report: Sloppy work led to wrongful WC conviction

A report released Monday lays blame on several Westchester law enforcement offices for an innocent man spending half his life in prison.

Jeffrey Deskovic was 16 years old when he was convicted of the 1989 rape and murder of his Peekskill High School classmate, Angela Correa. Deskovic was released from prison last year when his conviction was dismissed after the Innocence Project successfully proved he was not guilty.

Current Westchester District Attorney Janet DiFiore ordered a probe into the case six months ago. A report claims authorities, including the DA's office, pursued Deskovic even though DNA evidence pointed to another man.

Steven Cunningham was finally sentenced in May for Correa's death.

The investigation also questions why Peekskill police failed to tape all their interviews with Deskovic, who made a false confession after being questioned for eight hours.

"We must follow the evidence in every case. We cannot afford to leap to any conclusions in any case," DiFiore said after releasing the findings.

The report, which found prosecutors made a good-faith error, calls for changes to ensure wrongful convictions don't happen again in Westchester.

Deskovic said he is not fully satisfied with the report. He argues the panel of retired judges who conducted the probe should have interviewed him. Deskovic believes more evidence of wrongdoing would have been uncovered.

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