[This is yet another case where the prosecutors withheld extremely significant exculpatory evidence from the defense. My congratulations to Dewey's appeal attorney, Ross Firsenbaum (pro bono casework courtesy of Hale and Dorr).]


"This court does not lightly disturb a conviction in such a serious case as this in which the defendant was twice convicted by jury verdicts of the cruel and cowardly murder of a 92-year-old woman within the sanctuary of her home," Rooney wrote in his 44-page decision.

"However ... the court, without reservation, is firmly and soundly convinced of the meritorious nature of the defendant's application," Rooney said. "The legal and factual arguments advanced ... are compelling, indeed overwhelming."

(I first learned of Dewey's case after his second trial in 1990. Dewey's first trial and conviction was in 1983 (the murder took place in 1977), but the verdict was later overturned, because the prosecutor excluded blacks from the jury without cause. This case is ranked # 19 on my top 20 list of likely wrongful convictions. Like so many wrongful convictions, there is hardly any notice of such in the media, just a single link.)