In a strong and precedent setting opinion, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled that the allegations of Byron Halsey that police detectives falsified a confession that led to his conviction for rape and murder and 22 years of incarceration before he was fully exonerated by post-conviction DNA testing violated his rights to due process of law. Mr. Halsey is now entitled to a trial for the substantial damages he suffered.
Mr. Halsey was convicted for the rape and murder of his girlfriend’s two children based on a confession that contained facts known only to the perpetrator and police. After being fully exonerated by DNA testing 22 years later, he filed a civil rights suit claiming that the detectives intentionally falsified the confession. Based on powerful facts developed in the exoneration and investigation of this case, it became obvious that Mr. Halsey, who is fully innocent (the DNA implicated the real murderer, a neighbor), could not have confessed as he knew none of these confidential details about the crime.
As the Court stated in reviewing the seriousness of this case and the importance of ensuring remedies for persons like Mr. Halsey who can prove that they were framed by the police, “except when an innocent defendant is executed, we hardly can conceive of a worse miscarriage of justice.”
KRMF attorneys Jonathan Feinberg and David Rudovsky, who argued the appeal, are co-counseling Mr. Halsey’s case with attorneys from the well-known New York City firm, Neufeld Scheck & Brustin, including Peter Neufeld, Anna Benvenutti Hoffmann and Emma Freudenberger.
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