A New York man broke down in tears after he was exonerated of a murder for which he was imprisoned for 27 years.
John Bunn was only 14 when he was convicted of the homicide of an off-duty prison officer in Brooklyn and served 17 years in prison before he was paroled in 2009. Despite his parole and release, he continued to campaign to clear his name and now, almost a decade on, he has been fully exonerated.
"It has been 27 years, I've been fighting for my life and I've been fighting for my innocence," said a tearful Bunn to the judge. Addressing the court, he said: "I didn't deserve any of that stuff that you all did to me.
"They won't admit and say that I'm an innocent man. But I'm an innocent man, your honor, and I have always been an innocent man. You all convicted and had a wrong man in prison, and you all still have somebody on the loose that killed someone."
Rolando Neischer and Robert Crosson, two corrections officers at Rikers Island, were sat in a car in Brooklyn in 1991 when they were shot in an apparent carjacking. Neischer died from his injuries, but Crosson was able to pick two men out of a lineup.
Bunn was arrested on an anonymous tip-off and, despite the fact that the forensic evidence could not link him to the crime scene, convicted in just one day.
"In one day they picked a jury, they had openings, they had witnesses, and a conclusion on a murder trial which I do not consider justice at all," explained Judge Shawndya Simpson of the original trial.
A second trial was granted two years ago after flaws were found in the conviction.
The judge later placed blame on an NYPD detective, Louis Scarcella, who has since been accused of dozens of framings. Many of his other cases are in the process of being reviewed by lawyers in New York City.
"It would be nice to have that stated to him so that he could really feel fully vindicated, but we don't have that and it is unfortunate they didn't go there," said Glenn Garber of the Exoneration Initiative, one of the groups that campaigned to clear Bunn's name.
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