Segments in this Video

Wrongfully Convicted (02:15)


Louis Scarcella allegedly coerced witnesses and suspects to lie; four men have been exonerated. Charles Hynes was the top prosecutor in Kings County, New York for over 20 years. Joe Berlinger follows the cases of two men trying to clear their names.

Derrick Hamilton (04:28)

Hamilton was incarcerated for 21 years for the murder of Nathaniel Cash; Scarcella handled his case. Hamilton, out on parole, says he maintained his sanity in prison by reading law books. Hear details of Hamilton's arrest and conviction.

Tyrone Johnson (02:57)

Johnson is serving 21 years to life for the murder of Leroy Vann. The prosecuting attorney lost his license and allegations claimed Judge Jaime Rios helped the prosecution's case. Hear details of Johnson's arrest and conviction.

Murder Implication (03:22)

Johnson's wife Chianne, once a police officer, is his biggest supporter. Vann's mother, Mary Puryear, says his dying declaration identified Johnson as his killer. Keith Shell recounts Vann's death; Johnson considers why Vann would say his name.

Case Against Johnson (02:40)

Daniel Small says a guy known as "Phantom" killed Vann; he identified Johnson as "Phantom." Small was killed in an unrelated incident days later and police found a new witness, Henry Hanley. Reporter Joaquin Sapien discusses Hanley's testimony and the prosecutor's approach to the case.

Brady Violation (02:57)

Johnson's lawyer learned about a statement from Shanise Knight a day before the trial and wanted to call her to the stand, but could not find her. Prosecutor Claude Stuart lied and said he did not know her whereabouts. Judge Rios ordered the trial to continue and Johnson was convicted.

Hamilton's Trial (04:11)

In a police statement, Jewel Smith identified Hamilton as the shooter; she made a contradictory statement as Karen Smith at the crime scene. Hamilton was convicted and sentenced to 25 years to life. Hamilton believes Prosecutor Anne Gutmann knew Karen and Jewel were the same person.

District Attorney Decisions (02:18)

Wrongful conviction claims in New York City skyrocketed and Charles Hynes created a Conviction Integrity Unit; critics claim it was a political stunt. Kenneth Thompson won the election and promised to speed up wrongful conviction investigations.

Hamilton's Alibi (02:12)

Kelly Turner is Hamilton's strongest alibi witness; some believe it is a sham. Attorney Jonathan Edelstein believes Hamilton is innocent and a victim of prosecutorial misconduct.

Prosecutorial Immunity (04:24)

Bennett Gershman explains the theory behind immunity. In Johnson's case, a private investigator found Knight who refuted the claims of Stuart and Hanley; Hanley recanted his testimony. Stuart was forced to resign; D.A. Richard Brown decided to retry Johnson

Johnson's Second Trial (03:04)

Hanley recanted his recantation and A.D.A. Eugene Reibstein challenged Knight's version of events; Johnson was found guilty a second time. Court Clerk Judith Memblatt says Judge Rios coached Reibstein on Hanley's testimony. Johnson's attorneys pushed for a third trial but were denied.

Fight for Justice (03:51)

The New York parole board released Hamilton on parole in 2011; he struggles to adjust to life outside prison. Johnson's wife helps him gather evidence that could secure his release.

Focus on "Phantom" (03:08)

Former NYPD Detective Jay Salpeter works on high profile exoneration cases. A Rikers Island inmate says he heard "Phantom" bragging about killing Vann. Johnson's team discusses "Phantom's" possible involvement.

Accountability (03:25)

Hamilton works as a paralegal and fights to clear his name. Johnson defines what he wants people to know about his case. Hamilton was exonerated in 2014.

Credits: Prosecutorial Misconduct: The System with Joe Berlinger (00:07)

Credits: Prosecutorial Misconduct: The System with Joe Berlinger

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The 6th amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees every American the right to a speedy and public trial before an impartial jury, and the right to a defense attorney. What the 6th amendment doesn’t lay out are rules for law enforcement and prosecution. In this episode, we will highlight two cases: the ongoing efforts of parolee Derrick Hamilton to clear his name after twenty years for a murder conviction fraught with alleged police and prosecutorial misconduct and another in Queens that seems to have the earmarks of prosecutorial misconduct but is not yet proven. Every American has the right to a fair trial. The System examines two cases where prosecutorial misconduct may have led to wrongful imprisonment.

Length: 47 minutes

Item#: BVL129664

ISBN: 978-1-64023-518-2

Copyright date: ©2015

Closed Captioned

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