Three men returned home Friday after spending more than twenty years in prison for two New York murders a judge now says they never committed. George Bell, Rohan Bolt and Gary Johnson were convicted of robbing a New York City check-cashing service, and killing the owner and a NYPD officer who worked security at the business in 1996. But the Queens District Attorney’s Conviction Integrity Unit found some evidence hadn’t been presented in the case, including claims from a member of the “Speedstick” gang that indicated the gang may have been responsible for the crime. The trio were released on recognizance bond Friday as an investigation into whether their convictions should be overturned continues.
“The constitutional safeguards in our criminal justice system failed here, and the result has deprived everyone involved of the certainty and finality of justice in this case,” integrity unit director Bryce Benjet said.