DNA Evidence Frees Three in New York

For nearly two decades, Dennis Halstead, John Kogut, and John Restivo maintained their innocence in the 1985 murder of 16-year-old Theresa Fusco. Although DNA testing in the 1990's cast doubt on their guilt, the men remained in jail in New York because a judge deemed the tests not reliable enough to overturn the convictions. Now the men have been freed from prison after prosecutors joined defense attorneys in asking a second judge to vacate the convictions based on more sophisticated DNA evidence showing that semen found on the victim's body was from another man. The new tests were conducted on behalf of The Innocence Project at the Cardozo School of Law in New York City, which uses DNA technology to help free the wrongly convicted, and Centurion Ministries of New Jersey. Following the release of Halstead, Kogut, and Restivo, district attorney Denis Dillon noted that the men didn't get a fair trial, but he said that the state is still considering whether it will retry the men for the murder.

(New York Times, June 12, 2003). See Innocence.