News 08.03.17

New York Man’s Conviction Overturned Due to Prosecutorial Misconduct

By Innocence Staff

An appeals court overturned a Rochester man’s conviction on Tuesday because, during his 1998 trial, prosecutors did not correct a witness when she lied on the stand.

Vance Haskell was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison after Antoinette Blue testified that she saw him enter an Erie, Pennsylvania bar and shoot a man 11 times with a machine gun.

During the trial, the Blue told the court she did not receive any incentives or help from prosecutors with her own criminal charges in exchange for her testimony. In fact, prosecutors struck a deal with Blue that allowed her to avoid serving prison time for the many criminal charges pending against her.

Because Erie County Assistant District Attorney Matthew R. Hayes did not correct Blue during the trial, allowing jurors to think she had no personal motives for testifying, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit granted Haskell’s petition for habeas corpus.

“Haskell has demonstrated that there is a reasonable likelihood that Blue’s false testimony could have affected the judgment of the jury,” Third Circuit Judge Thomas Ambro wrote in the ruling.

Prosecutors must now decide whether to retry or release Haskell.

Read the Delaware Law Weekly coverage here.

Related: Brooklyn Man Released After Judge Vacates 1995 Murder Conviction

Leave a reply

  1. Dianne Brooks says:

    I would like information on how to join the innocence project am really serious we need an organization like this in our small community where you don’t stand a chance without a plea bargain or money enough to get an outside powerful attorney and I do mean powerful

    • Innocent Man says:
      I also live in a small town. The prosecutor in my case has been malicious and misconduct is rife. Police misconduct, perjury and falsified evidence has been clearly documented in court. Wrongful arrest and evidence that the state has engaged in conduct unbecoming of any judicial system. I even had a judge with Clear Bias on my case who made several errors in the prosecutor favor including the mistrial that I objected to.

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