Brooklyn DA Declines to Retry Accused in Interest of Justice
September 8, 2016 | Civil Rights
Wayne Martin was overjoyed when the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office officially dismissed the indictment against him yesterday. Martin had been sentenced to life without parole for the fatal shooting of a tire shop owner and an employee in East Flatbush in 2005. The Brooklyn Conviction Review Unit uncovered alleged misconduct by now-retired trial prosecutor Marc Fliedner and Mr. Martin’s 2010 conviction was vacated on July 7th.
Prosecutors then investigated whether or not to retry Mr. Martin. “Following a thorough re-examination of this case, I have concluded that a lack of reliable evidence, compounded by the utter failure to disclose exculpatory evidence at the original trial, would make it impossible to retry this case, ” said Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson. “Therefore, we moved today to dismiss the indictment against Mr. Martin in the interest of justice.” One of Mr. Martin’s attorneys, James D. Henning, said, “We thank the judge for a just resolution.”
Since taking over as district attorney in Brooklyn in 2014, Mr. Thompson has asked courts to reverse convictions and dismiss charges in 21 cases, including Mr. Martin’s this week. “A prosecutor engaged in intentional misconduct faces immediate reprimand, including termination,” Charisma Troiano, a spokeswoman for Mr. Thompson, said. An internal ethics committee also reviews them, she said.
The prosecutor in Mr. Martin’s case quit in June and did not respond to a request to explain why those materials were not turned over to the defense.
After Mr. Martin was convicted of the double homicide, the prosecutor argued that if he were not given the harshest sentence possible, there would be more victims.
There were indeed more, but Mr. Martin had nothing to do with them. At least two other people were killed by the men named as the gunmen at the tire store.
Mr. Martin thanked all for their efforts on his behalf and added “There’s a lot of other people out there who need help.” For now he is looking forward to getting back to his life; he proudly took his daughter to school the other day and called the experience “indescribable.”
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