Mr. Detroy Livingston was convicted of murder in 1986 and served 35 years before being paroled in 2021. On November 3, 2023, he was exonerated by the Conviction Review Unit of the Kings County District Attorney’s Office. The investigation found that the sole eyewitness was highly unreliable, having given many contradictory statements and being high on crack cocaine when she allegedly witnessed the incident.
The District Attorney’s Office concluded that the eyewitness, who was 19 years old at the time, should never have been called to testify at trial. She provided ten statements to the police and in court, and was inconsistent about Mr. Livingston’s involvement, where she was when she witnessed the crime, whether she saw the assailants flee, and about hearing the suspects discuss the crime on a later date. Her testimony was also physically implausible, as the location where she claimed to have hidden during the shooting would have precluded her from seeing the incident.
The Conviction Review Unit’s exoneration report concluded that the eyewitness’s conflicting accounts, inability to observe what occurred, newly discovered evidence of her addiction to crack cocaine at the time, and misrepresentations by the prosecution to reconcile the eyewitness’s accounts required the conviction to be vacated and the indictment dismissed.
De Nice Powell, Director of Innocence Investigations, and David P. Greenberg, Assistant Attorney-in-Charge, represented Mr. Livingston