HEAT ALERT

Extreme heat blankets the region with heat advisory, air quality alert issued for the Hudson Valley

Peekskill man turns wrongful conviction into protecting the innocent

A Peekskill native who spent years behind bars for a murder he didn't commit is now helping others in the same position.

News 12 Staff

May 12, 2019, 8:24 PM

Updated 1,864 days ago

Share:

A Peekskill native who spent years behind bars for a murder he didn't commit is now helping others in the same position.
Jeffrey Deskovic was locked up for 16 years for a murder and rape he did not commit.

According to records from the Westchester District Attorney's Office, he was wrongfully convicted after a coerced false confession and rejected appeals for DNA evidence testing.
Deskovic was 17 years old, tried as an adult, and remained in prison until 2006 when DNA evidence proved who the real killer was.

"I had never lived alone before, I never paid bills, I didn't have a driver’s license, I didn't know how to balance a checkbook, I didn't know how to go shopping at the grocery store,” he says.

Deskovic learned all of this in his 30s, but says he's knows he's not alone.
According to the National Registry of Exonerations, 275 people have been exonerated in New York state since 1989.
It has inspired him to earn his bachelor's and master's degrees in criminal justice, and to create the Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation with hopes of protecting the innocent from ever being put behind bars.

"I'm looking forward to using the degree to free more people, but this time as the attorney and to help them get compensated afterwards and use the degree to further my policy work,” he says.

Deskovic hopes to transition into politics and protect people from ever going through what he did.
Since he missed out on a large portion of his early adult years, he says he is still building his career and hopes to one day found someone he can spend the rest of his life with.

Jeffrey Deskovic will be graduating from the Elizabeth Hobbs School of Law at Pace University Monday.


More from News 12
2:18
HEAT ALERT: Sizzling temperatures continue, heat advisory extended in the Hudson Valley

HEAT ALERT: Sizzling temperatures continue, heat advisory extended in the Hudson Valley

1:49
Yonkers police find no validity in alleged bomb threat

Yonkers police find no validity in alleged bomb threat

0:45
Veteran Westchester firefighter dies after two-year battle with 9/11-related cancer

Veteran Westchester firefighter dies after two-year battle with 9/11-related cancer

1:29
Police: 1 of 2 students involved in Bedford car crash dies from injuries

Police: 1 of 2 students involved in Bedford car crash dies from injuries

1:52
Asbestos discovery in East Ramapo schools prompts parents, NYCLU to rally

Asbestos discovery in East Ramapo schools prompts parents, NYCLU to rally

1:28
Emergency room doctor discusses how to prevent health issues related to high temps

Emergency room doctor discusses how to prevent health issues related to high temps

1:35
Carmel schools dismissing early for the week because of extreme heat

Carmel schools dismissing early for the week because of extreme heat

1:33
59-year-old Marlboro woman stabbed outside of watermelon truck in Newburgh

59-year-old Marlboro woman stabbed outside of watermelon truck in Newburgh

1:38
Poughkeepsie sustainable farmers race against heat to protect themselves, crops

Poughkeepsie sustainable farmers race against heat to protect themselves, crops

2:07
Hudson Valley braces for heat advisory, cooling centers open

Hudson Valley braces for heat advisory, cooling centers open

0:42
Danskammer Energy drops plan for new methane gas plant in Newburgh

Danskammer Energy drops plan for new methane gas plant in Newburgh

1:41
Police: Justin Timberlake charged with DWI in Sag Harbor

Police: Justin Timberlake charged with DWI in Sag Harbor

2:39
Made in the Hudson Valley: Loola Doola Boutique brings one-of-a-kind, handmade clutches to Westchester County

Made in the Hudson Valley: Loola Doola Boutique brings one-of-a-kind, handmade clutches to Westchester County

0:42
Headlines: Cold case guilty plea, Poughkeepsie crash injures 3

Headlines: Cold case guilty plea, Poughkeepsie crash injures 3

0:20
Parents, advocates rally to save East Ramapo schools after asbestos discovery

Parents, advocates rally to save East Ramapo schools after asbestos discovery

0:18
Fire engulfs car on Old Nyack Turnpike in Ramapo

Fire engulfs car on Old Nyack Turnpike in Ramapo

0:46
Dutchess County autism center receives $3 million in state funding

Dutchess County autism center receives $3 million in state funding

0:25
Mario Cuomo Bridge to shine blue and white for students who named falcon chicks

Mario Cuomo Bridge to shine blue and white for students who named falcon chicks

14:52:13
13 cool tips to help you stay healthy during the summer heat

13 cool tips to help you stay healthy during the summer heat

2:04
John Oliver eats giant Deising's cake bear, pledges $10K donation to Peoples' Place of Kingston, NY

John Oliver eats giant Deising's cake bear, pledges $10K donation to Peoples' Place of Kingston, NY