If you’ve been following the news in New York, you’ve undoubtedly seen dozens of stories about wrongful imprisonment. Whether they were about the Central Park 5 or William Lopez, the man who died of an asthma attack mere days before his case was to be heard in court, there has been no shortage of stories about wrongful imprisonment.
There are often just a few names that find themselves in the center of those stories. One is a previous district attorney, and one is retired NYPD Detective Louis Scarcella.
Many of Scarcella’s previous arrests have been overturned after DNA evidence surfaced. So much so that there have been investigations launched specifically into his cases in order to find more cases that should be overturned.
Detective Scarcella is in the news again, this time being mentioned at a Brooklyn man’s hearing. Forty-year-old Rosean Hargrave, who was arrested in 1992 in relation to the murder of a correction officer, was released after twenty-three years wrongfully behind bars. He claims that Scarcella provided tainted evidence in order to put him behind bars.
Hargrave’s attorney, Pierre Sussman, brings up Scarcella’s previous cases in a recent statement, saying “corners were cut in other cases that led to those cases being overturned. Those seem to be the same kinds of corners that were cut in this case by Detective Scarcella.”
He goes on to say that the original arrest never would have happened if what is now known about Scarcella had been known in 1992. That well may be conjecture, but the fact is that an entire investigative unit created by Brooklyn DA Ken Thompson is looking into Scarcella’s cases, so it will be interesting to see what unfolds.