In 1988, Shabaka Shakur of Brooklyn was convicted for the murders of two high school classmates and sentenced to two consecutive 20-to-life sentences. However, now Shakur is free after nearly 27 years because retired NYPD homicide Det. Louis Scarcella, who made the case, has been discredited.
Last week, after state Supreme Court Justice Desmond Green granted Shakur a new trial, Brooklyn DA Ken Thompson decided that he would not retry the case. Subsequently, Green ordered Shakur released immediately.
According to the NY Post:
The judge, who did not rule on Shakur’s actual innocence, ordered the new trial due to “a reasonable probability that the alleged confession of defendant was indeed fabricated” by Scarcella, court papers said.
Some 70 Scarcella homicide cases are under review following serious allegations that the one-time star detective coached witnesses, made up confessions and used the same crack-addicted hooker as a witness in some trials.
Shakur’s case is the eighth one of Scarcella’s to be overturned. The defamed detective has defended his record.