Manhattan DA Vacates Decades-Long Murder Sentences for Two MenNovember 27, 2023
After a combined half-century in prison for murder, two men have had their names cleared in Manhattan. Both Wayne Gardine and Jabar Walker were convicted based on investigations by the 30th Precinct, also known as the “Dirty 30,” which was notoriously corrupt. After separate reinvestigations by the Legal Aid Society and The Innocence Project, the cases against both men were revealed to be built on lies. At back-to-back hearings in Manhattan, the District Attorney’s office asked two judges to vacate the decades-old murder convictions.
For Walker, he quietly wiped a tear from his eye as Judge Miriam Beat vacated his conviction. However, Gardine, who has been in custody since he was 20, is sitting in a federal detention facility in New Jersey since completing his prison sentence in January. Despite the motion to vacate his conviction and dismiss the underlying indictment, Gardine remains in ICE lockup awaiting deportation to Jamaica. His attorneys have criticized this decision, calling it a “horrible position to put someone in who has been wrongfully convicted.” Walker’s mother expressed her relief at the decision, saying that the family had to keep faith for 27 years that her son would see his name cleared. Both families expressed the emotional pain and devastation caused by the wrongful convictions, with Walker’s mother saying she wanted to cry at the moment when the conviction was vacated.