Inmate Enters Guilty Plea in ’89 Killing
March 15, 2007, The New York Times
WHITE PLAINS, March 14 — A convicted killer serving a lengthy sentence pleaded guilty on Wednesday to another murder, for which one of the victim’s high school classmates was wrongfully imprisoned for 16 years.
The inmate, Steven Cunningham, entered his plea during a hearing in State Supreme Court here, six months after DNA evidence cleared Jeffrey Mark Deskovic, who was convicted of raping and murdering Angela Correa in Peekskill in 1989.
Investigators eventually ran DNA recovered from Ms. Correa’s body through a database of samples from convicted felons and matched it to that of Mr. Cunningham, 46, who was convicted of strangling his girlfriend’s sister several years after Ms. Correa’s murder. He was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison, and is serving that sentence at the Eastern Correctional Facility, a maximum-security prison.
The authorities confronted Mr. Cunningham with the results of the DNA testing two days after Mr. Deskovic’s release, on Sept. 19. He denied his role in the killing at first, investigators said, but eventually confessed to raping and strangling Ms. Correa, a 15-year-old sophomore at Peekskill High School.
“I’m a little bit stunned and shocked at the moment,” said Mr. Deskovic, 33.
“I just hope that this brings the victim’s family some peace,” he said.
Mr. Cunningham pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and felony murder, because the killing of Ms. Correa occurred during the commission of another crime, the rape. He is scheduled to be sentenced on May 2 and will receive another term of 20 years to life.
The clock on Mr. Cunningham’s new prison term will not begin ticking until 2013, when he becomes eligible for parole on his first conviction, said Lucian Chalfen, a spokesman for Janet DiFiore, the Westchester County district attorney.
Mr. Deskovic was 16 when he was arrested. He confessed to Ms. Correa’s murder after six hours of interrogation. In November, Ms. DiFiore asked two former judges, a former prosecutor and a public defender to review the investigation into Ms. Correa’s killing.
Correction: March 17, 2007
Because of an editing error, an article on Thursday about a convicted killer pleading guilty to a second murder for which another man had served 16 years in prison before being exonerated omitted the given name of a spokesman for Janet DiFiore, the Westchester County district attorney. He is Lucian Chalfen.
3 Things You Can Do to End Police Killings and Fix the Criminal Justice System
December 10, 2014
Matthew Cooke and Adrian Grenier
We're doing a lot of talking. That's good. Now let's make them accountable.
Since the shooting of Mike Brown, more than 14 black teens have been killed by the police, including 12-year-old Tamir Rice, a boy in Cleveland, Ohio who was murdered less than two seconds after police arrived at a playground to answer a 911 call related to a black child carrying a pellet gun.
If you're a black teenager you're 21 times more likely to be shot by a police officer than if you're white. So we've been talking about racism.
Exonerated but not free: What do we owe the wrongfully convicted?
November 9, 2014 at 4:00 PM EST
The toll of the justice system on the wrongfully convicted
The toll of varied laws for compensation for the wrongfully convicted is examined.
In the US, state laws governing compensation for wrongfully convicted people vary significantly. While some states offer sizable packages for the exonerated, at least 20 offer nothing. And even for those that do, it may not be enough to make up for the emotional damage on those who've been wrongfully convicted. Hari Sreenivasan reports.
Chabad of the Shore
September 4, 2015
Chabad of the Shore, a Jewish community organization in Long Branch, NJ, hosted a dinner and invited Jeffrey Deskovic to be the guest speaker, followed by Q&A.
August 31, 2015
Jeffrey Deskovic was honored with being invited to speak at TEDxMartha's Vineyard along with other preeminent leaders, thinkers, and doers.
TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, which now has given birth local, self-organized TEDx events on a global scale. TEDxMartha's Vineyard is a day of talks, performances, and community building on the island of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts each August.