A 61-year-old Brooklyn Black man who spent more than 24 years in prison for a murder conviction that was later thrown out by an appeals court has accepted the city’s offer of $6 million to settle his federal lawsuit, the Daily News has learned.
Derrick Deacon was re-tried for the murder in 2013 by the office of then-Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes, and the jury acquitted him after deliberating merely nine minutes.
"Brooklyn Man Awarded $6M after spending over 24 years in prison wrongfully convicted of murder" 😥 https://t.co/b87phXzFSy
— Philly Sikh 👊 (@MR_PUNJABI) November 1, 2016
“Based upon newly discovered evidence which implicated another man as the actual killer, the court vacated Mr. Deacon’s conviction and granted him a new trial,” Nicholas Paolucci, a spokesman for the city Law Department said in a statement.
“We have determined that a settlement of this civil suit is fair and in the best interests of the City.”
Deacon, 61, was convicted of robbing and killing Anthony Wynn in April 1989 inside an East Flatbush building. A key eyewitness who pocketed a $1,000 Crimestoppers reward from the NYPD fingered the Black man as the murderer.
But the case began to unravel in 2001 when a federal informant who had been a member of a violent gang called the Patio Crew gave the feds the name of the real killer. The Appellate Division for the Second Department reversed Deacon’s conviction in 2013, but the D.A.’s office refused to drop the case against him.
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) November 1, 2016
“The case should have never been retried and the acquittal after nine minutes was a slap in the face of the D.A.’s office,” his lawyer Glenn Garber said Monday. “This settlement is some level of redemption and compensation for Derrick’s suffering.”
The city’s payout for the malicious prosecution suit is in addition to a $3.9 million settlement that Deacon received from the state for his decades of incarceration.
Deacon has moved to another state and has started several businesses since he was freed.
Wrongly Convicted Man Awarded $6 Million After 24 Years In Prison https://t.co/hSLc23XG1i
— HipHopzilla.com (@HipHopzilla) November 1, 2016
This is one more sorrowful story of the wrong imprisonment of a Black man, the issue which has been a norm for many years now. We are glad to see that the innocent man was given a settlement. However, that doesn’t change the fact that his life was ruined; he won’t get back the 24 years that were wasted. It’s also appalling that his acquittance is a result of his own efforts and the efforts of his lawyer – American justice system is not yet ready to admit its mistakes and help its victims somehow correct those.