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Paul, Weiss Client Found Not Guilty in Retrial After Having Spent 24 Years in Prison

A Brooklyn jury found Derrick Deacon not guilty after only nine minutes of deliberations in a retrial - obtained by Paul, Weiss - of a 1989 conviction. 

In December 1989, Mr. Deacon was wrongly convicted of murder based on the testimony of a single purported eyewitness, and with no forensic evidence linking him to the scene of the crime. The court sentenced him to 25 years to life in prison. Mr. Deacon has maintained his innocence throughout his wrongful incarceration. Upon learning that someone else confessed to the crime, the Exoneration Initiative - a not for profit that Paul, Weiss helped incorporate - filed a motion to vacate the conviction in 2008. Paul, Weiss became involved shortly thereafter, handling the week-long evidentiary hearing in 2009. The Supreme Court, Kings County, initially denied Mr. Deacon's motion for a new trial, but Paul, Weiss successfully appealed the denial, and in June 2012, the Appellate Division, Second Department, vacated Mr. Deacon's conviction and granted his motion for a new trial based on newly discovered evidence. The retrial was handled by the Exoneration Initiative based on the new evidence discovered and developed by Paul, Weiss in obtaining a new trial.

The Paul, Weiss team included litigation partner Roberto Finzi, who argued the appeal before the Appellate Division, and associates Andrée Goldsmith, Jane O'Brien, Ilana Waxman and Moira Weinberg.

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