Sooner or later, most people learn that life simply isn’t fair.
However, some suffer injustices which most of us could not imagine.
One of these people is 41-year-old John Bunn from Brooklyn, who was wrongly convicted of murder when he was just 14 years old in 1991.
He was subsequently forced to spend 17 years behind bars before he was released on parole in 2009.
But now the innocent man has finally been exonerated for the murder of officer Rolando Neischer which he and a then 16-year-old Rosean Hargrave were convicted of committing.
To see his emotional reaction to having his name cleared, check out the video below:
What makes this case so shocking is that there were red flags that the wrong men had been convicted from the get-go.
According to the New York Post, Bunn and Hargrave were framed for the crime by the disgraced NYPD Detective Louis Scarcella when he placed them in a photo array for Robert Crosson – Neischer’s partner and the only person to have witnessed the fatal shooting.
However, despite the teens being identified in the photo lineup, neither of them were a match with the fingerprints found at the scene, and their identification contradicted Crosson’s claim at one point that his partner was murdered by light-skinned men in their 20s.
At the time, defense lawyers rightfully said that the teens were framed.
“There were problems with this case that were very obvious,” defense lawyer Glenn Garber said. “There was no probable cause to make an arrest.”
“I am more than emotional about this day,” Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice ShawnDya Simpson said, the Daily News reported. “You were 14 at the time. This shouldn’t have ever happened.”
Despite enduring horrors that would make most people give up on life, after Bunn was released from prison in 2009, he founded the nonprofit organization AVoice4TheUnheard, which provides books to prisons to help inmates learn how to read.
“Y’all had the wrong man this whole time and you have someone out there running free and y’all had no right to do what you did,” Bunn said after he was exonerated.
Horrifyingly, however, Bunn and Hargrave were not the only people to be wrongly convicted of murder because of Louis Scarcella.
“I don’t know how I made it this far, but I believe I am here for a purpose. I just want to be proven innocent… I didn’t want to be in the dark side of the shadows they (the prosecutors) tried to put me,” Bunn added after he was cleared.
The now 44-year-old Hargrave was also exonerated of the crime. He is pictured below finally being released from prison in July of last year.
“There were times I saw death – that is how badly corrections officers beat me for a crime I did not commit,” he said outside the courtroom, the New York Post reported.
The exoneration of Hargrave and Bunn came as part of an investigation into the work of Louis Scarcella, who was found to have engaged in “false and misleading practices” while working for the NYPD which led to the wrongful convictions of more than a dozen men.
One of his other victims was Jabbar Washington, was released in July 2017 after 20 years behind bars for murder.
He too was selected from one of Scarcella’s lineups, but it later emerged that the woman who identified him was not claiming that he was involved the crime, but simply someone she recognized from the building.
We hope that anyone else who has wrongfully been convicted because of Scarcella gets the justice they deserve.