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New York Man Acquitted of Double Murder and Released After 16 Years

By Innocence Staff

A White Plains man was acquitted of a 1996 double murder on Tuesday and released after 16 years in prison.

Selwyn Days was convicted in 2001 of the murder of 79-year-old Archie Harris and his home health aide, Betty Ramcharan, after he falsely confessed to the crime during a lengthy interrogation by police, four years after the murders occurred.

Days was tried five times for the murders. The first and third trials ended in hung juries and the second and fourth trials resulted in convictions that were later overturned.

No physical evidence tied Days to the crime and detectives only recorded the final hour and fifteen minutes of his hours-long interrogation. Alibi witnesses said they saw Days in North Carolina within the time frame during which prosecutors said the murders occurred. Days’ original defense team did not pursue the alibi witnesses during his first two trials, and for the last two trials, prosecutors expanded the time frame in which they claimed the murders occurred.

Days has been represented for the past nine years by Glenn Garber, founder and director of the Exoneration Initiative, and Roberto Finzi of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison.

“He has suffered immensely and he’s got a lot of work to do to get his life back on track, but we are obviously ecstatic about the result,” Garber told The Journal News. “Finally there’s been justice for him and we just hope that he can put that terrible chapter behind him and move on and have a normal life moving forward.”

Read The Journal News here.

Learn more about false confessions

4 Comments

  1. liz

    Where do I get some like that to get my husband out of prison do to false confession and no evidence

  2. Martha

    I feel for this person and his family. My son was imprisoned at 18 years old Thule sentences with no parole first degree premeditated murder. It’s a very long story he was used at election time of our prosecutor in our town. His friends took him to have a going-away party that night and he was flying out to California in the morning to live with my sister on the way home he was riding in the car with a few girls and the other car had two guys in it they were taking him home he wanted to go home he was throwing up and sick and drunk they stopped at the store to get cigarettes but for the girls and use the Payphone there were some gang members there and they were leaving but when they see my son and then pull in they came back and they started arguing with them and started fighting with my son’s friends everybody took off running across the street fighting and fighting out in the parking lot and left my son alone so two girls he was with went in the store the clerk testified that my son was chased out into the parking lot backed up to the road and my son was running in a backward fast motion with his hands up there was a shooting the two large 300lb drunk guys that chase my son out there was shot there was one more boy testified to be next to my son and look like my son. Other boy was being charged with armed robbery there was a witness an older man watching out his window that seen the other boy with a gun holding a boy to the ground and robbed him but they worked the deal with him to testify against my son and they let the man go the last day of the trial that was there to testify that Rusty had a gun and they gave him an armed robbery that suppress a possible nother shooter because Rusty was testified to being next to my son and he’s the one that gave my son a gun also earlier that night the gun that the boys were shot with we’re 9mm my son had a 357 but we can’t do anything about the ballistics because his trial lawyer never addressed it because the last day of the trial he let the gun expert leave and all the other Witnesses leave and they stop the trial there was one boy there that gave a statement the night of the incident the next day he gave a statement that was different at the police station then they had him come back and give a taped and signed statement which at the polemon Airy he said something different the he said he was high or drunk the night before so the lawyer asked if he was high then and then at the trial that guy Jonathan was a loud to sit in the lobby all four days of the trial and study his testimony that would be given that last day Friday Good Friday Easter weekend you’re sure didn’t want to deliberate. There was a male juror that was sleeping during the trial it was the younger that was outside crying after they convicted him she told the trial lawyer she convicted him because he was out late and had a gun for my understanding everything that they could give my son Jeffrey carried life. I have given the court papers that my son was being harassed and beaten up by games for not joining from the hospital and police report and the prosecutor went out in the lobby and head a couple females that were family or friends of the deceased to write a paper and say that my son and the deceased one of them had an argument and that’s why my son did what he did my son did not know them my son had never been in trouble before he was a jock going for a scholarship when he was in school and was on the honor roll and perfect attendance and then the things that were allowed to be said on TV were awful horrific everything that happened in the news in Flint a double homicide on the north end and they put my son’s name an incident in the paper some gang members or busted with drugs and guns and they put my son’s incident in name in the paper in the column everything that happened they would put my son’s picture and name in that column had nothing to do with him they let that guy that was perjuring himself in the trial Jonathan get on the television and say that he killed them execution-style on their knees and they felt like a sack of potatoes Jonathan was testified by others that he had his back to the whole thing it was a zoo I asked the news not to be at the court I didn’t want anyone to see my daughter she’s handicapped they showed her on the news anyway they were in the courtroom and in the hall all the time so she got jumped at school by a bunch of girls that were related to the gang members and I had to take her out and homeschool her through my church we had to move out of her home because they broke into it and smashed beer bottles all over my yard and they were threatening to kill us the camera asked me what do you have to say Miss Davis my last name was not Davis that was my son’s my son’s trial lawyer said she has nothing to say they’re being threatened of their life so he went over to the gang members and told them and he let them say they deserve to die it was horrible the things they did to us I asked him not to have the cameras in the courtroom I was assumed the prosecutor said in his closing statement a face like an angel on the heart of a cold-blooded killer I believe there was misconduct harmful error prosecutor misconduct my daughter’s Uncle Frederick Salem criminal lawyer the one that fought to keep the insanity plea here in Michigan I would have had him be his lawyer but he had had a massive stroke and I didn’t want to put this awful trial on him before he died he gave me a piece of paper and it’s a lack of intent tell me my son could come home on lack of intent but a single mother and I still am and I am in disability for many accidents I was hit by drunk driver when I was 24 and then I was hit by a semi in 91 and I was hit by a guy that ran a red light and then I was hit by a woman that lost control of her vehicle in the winter I suffer much in my body due to that I am on SSI and cannot afford to help my son and never could I suffer from depression I was in severe depression for 15 years my daughter never got to see my son because when she went to see him they change the law you had to be 18 and then when she turned 18 they change the law back so she missed out on all those years of seeing him and they’re not even close now and our families destroyed my hair turn gray overnight when this happened I’m trying to do a GoFundMe page but it’s just not going anywhere I feel their pain that these things happen to other people my son is now 41 he took any classes he could take along the way he works in leather he works in the prison as a clerk or something and he’s always had jobs in the prison he is very intelligent when this happened all his friends and his friends parents and us would sit outside the window of the gel everyday for a month or more months until they made us stop I got letters from people parents everyone loved him if there is anyone out there that could truly help him because my friend does CCW classes he’s like my uncle and he always tells me Martha you cannot shoot a 9mm bullet out of a 357 and not a day goes by that I pray that there would be somebody out there that would hear our cry and help us and all others like us thank you for listening

  3. AnInvestigator

    Martha, I looked up your son’s case. http://publicdocs.courts.mi.gov:81/opinions/final/coa/19980717_C196255(0046)_196255.OPN.PDF

    In his appeal, he argued for self-defense, meaning he pulled the trigger. Are you now saying your son did not shoot the victims? I couldn’t locate your gofundme page to learn more about your case. Your son was drunk and testified that he shot one of the victims in the stomach because he feared for his life but did not recall firing any other shots. Under what theory is your son innocent?

  4. Felicia M Johnson

    My husband is incarcerated now and was wrongfully convicted in 2002 on a conspiracy to commit murder charge after he broke up with his paramour who had been convicted of murder and attempted murder. She decided to implicate him in her murderous rampage after he broke things off with her and decided to not have anything to do with her. This woman testimony landed her a deal from death row to 17 years in exchange for her testimony to make him the co-conspirator in a contract murder scheme. There was no eye witnesses, no evidence, no DNA, and he had alibi’s. However, he was convicted based on her testimony that he forced her to kill and wound her ex lover’s out of a jealous rage. We have to witnesses who recanted their testimony as they admitted the detectives threatened them and we have a statement from the cell mate of the paramour that she did this alone and it was never introduced in his case. This is clearly a case of tunnel vision and misconduct and he deserves a new fair trial. Once you are convicted it is nearly impossible to prove your innocence, but we will never give up on the fight for justice. It is him today fighting for his freedom it can be you tomorrow.

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