, 2022-07-15 03:01:32,
New York Court of Appeals Chief Judge Janet DiFiore’s unexpected recent announcement that she will be stepping down in August, amid a complaint complaint filed against her with the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct, gave me the occasion me to reflect on her term of chief judge of the Court of Appeals, as well as her time as Westchester County District Attorney. Considering that her career led her to hold two of the most powerful positions in New York, I decided to reflect on her and her legacy.
While I was wrongfully imprisoned for a murder and rape I did not commit, DiFiore, then Westchester’s DA, allowed me to get DNA Testing via the DNA Databank which her predecessor, Jeannie Pirro, would not. The results matched Steven Cunningham, the actual perpetrator, whose DNA was only in the databank because, left free while I was imprisoned for his crime, he killed a second victim three-and-a-half years later. DiFiore agreed to dismiss the charges against me on actual innocence grounds, Cunningham was charged, and a public report detailing the breakdowns in the justice system leading to my 16 years of wrongful imprisonment was issued.
I became an advocate against wrongful imprisonment and started The Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation for Justice which has helped free 11 people and pass nine laws. I also became an attorney.
Via her occupying two of the most powerful positions in the state, DiFiore agreeing to my exoneration should have been the first of many steps that she had the ability to take to infuse the justice system with more justice. Instead, she wasted the opportunities which few receive.
Failures as Westchester DA
There were immediate signs that my case was a one-off, never-to-be repeated action on her part. Firstly, despite a confession being coerced out of…
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