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Kerry S. Jamieson '06 Helps Exonerate Two Women Wrongfully Convicted of Attempted Murder

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Alumni in the News

A Case of Innocence, With Missteps Seemingly at Every Turn
By Jim Dwyer
The New York Times
January 23, 2014

The only two people tried for the shooting of Mr. Peseo were the two women. After their convictions, the case was turned over to the Office of the Appellate Defender, where it was flagged for special attention. A senior attorney, Kerry S. Jamieson, dug through the records and, with an investigator and other lawyers, found witnesses who provided them with a road map of how the crime had actually happened, according to Anastasia Heeger, the director of the Reinvestigation Project in the appellate defender’s office.

While Ms. Johnson and Ms. Blyden were under indictment, four men — unconnected to them — were arrested in another shooting case, and ultimately pleaded guilty to the shooting of Mr. Peseo.

Ms. Jamieson’s investigation led to an apparent female accomplice of the four men. Lawyers for both innocent women presented the new evidence to the Bronx district attorney’s office. “To their credit, they took it seriously,” Ms. Heeger said. The prosecutors quickly agreed that the convictions should be vacated.
At every step, the case was riddled with what cognitive psychologists called “confirmation bias”: The mistaken eyewitness was confirmed by the false confession, which led to more wrong witnesses.

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