Jeffrey Deskovic was wrongfully convicted of raping and murdering a high school classmate in 1989. Although DNA found on the victim's body did not match Deskovic's, law enforcement officials subjected him to a polygraph test and many rounds of official interviews. After several hours of interrogation, they extracted a false conviction and charged the 16-year-old boy with the crime. He was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 15 years to life.
The Innocence Project obtained new DNA testing in 2006, which led them to Steven Cunningham, a convicted murderer. Cunningham was serving time for killing his girlfriend's sister, a crime committed three years after Deskovic's classmate was killed. He confessed and Deskovic was freed that year.
The wrongfully-convicted man previously settled with Westchester County in New York for $6.5 million, the city of Peekskill for $5.4 million and the state of New York for $1.8 million. He refused to settle with Putnam County and Daniel Stephens, a retired sheriff's investigator who Deskovic holds personally responsible for his imprisonment. He claims Stephens fabricated evidence and says he wants to confront the man in a court of law.
"This is my chance to hold people accountable," Deskovic told The Journal News, a news outlet in the lower Hudson Valley. "I want to fully expose everything […] That can't happen giving interviews or settling [the lawsuit]."
Deskovic says he suffers from depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
If you believe you have been the victim of malicious or dishonest behavior on the part of law enforcement officers or prosecuting attorneys, you may have the right to a civil jury trial. Contact the free consultation lawyers at The Meyers Law Firm. We can assess your claim and help you recover any damages to which you may be entitled.