On Wednesday, October 28, WilmerHale pro bono client Dewey Bozella was released from prison after spending 26 years incarcerated for the 1977 murder of 92-year-old Emma Crapser in Poughkeepsie, New York—a crime he did not commit. Dewey was released from state custody directly from a Dutchess County courtroom after an assistant district attorney announced in open court that the prosecution did not have any evidence available to re-try him. In the presence of CBS News television cameras and photographers from the New York Times and several local media outlets, Dewey's shackles were removed, he embraced family and friends, and walked out of the courtroom a free man.
Dewey's release came exactly two weeks after Acting Dutchess County Court Justice James T. Rooney issued a 44-page decision granting Dewey's motion to vacate his conviction based on a violation of his constitutional rights. Judge Rooney concluded that Dewey was wrongfully convicted due to the Dutchess County district attorney's failure to disclose four critical pieces of exculpatory evidence.
The WilmerHale team included John Hintz, Ross Firsenbaum, Shauna Friedman, Sarah Aasbo and Alyshea Austern.