About Jeffrey Deskovic
I was wrongfully convicted for the brutal rape and murder of my high school classmate, Angela Correa, and spent sixteen years in prison from age seventeen to thirty three until I was finally exonerated by DNA evidence. The real rapist and murderer was Steven Cunningham. Because police and prosecutors convicted me, Cunningham remained free and murdered a school teacher, leaving two young children without a mother. DNA evidence from that case proved he was Angela’s rapist and killer and he confessed. The State of New York officially apologized and after a series of civil suits, I was financially compensated though of course no amount of money could ever make up for the loss of my formative years.
Since my exoneration, I have delivered over 100 presentations, authored over 200 articles, and given hundreds of print, radio, and television interviews including multiple appearances on CNN, Al Jazeera America, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. I have testified at legislative hearings in New York and Connecticut where wrongful conviction prevention legislation was considered and worked collaboratively with New Yorkers Against The Death Penalty to ward off capital punishment reinstatement efforts in New York in 2007, and help legislatively repeal the death penalty in Connecticut. I have conducted numerous seminars at judicial gatherings, bar associations, prosecutorial groups, and other professional associations, am certified as an police and correctional instructor, and have given numerous lectures to soon-to-be graduating classes of police and correction officers.
I am a graduate of Mercy College with a B.A. in Behavioral Science, and have a master’s degree from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, where I wrote a thesis on the causes of wrongful conviction along with the reforms needed to address them. I co-designed a wrongful conviction college course syllabus which was taught at Farleigh Dickinson University and co-taught a wrongful conviction college course as an adjunct professor at Rockland Community College. I was listed in John Jay College of Criminal Justice’s “Fifty at Fifty” book as one of the top 50 standout students in John Jay’s 50 year history, and in 2014 won New York 1’s “New Yorker of the Week” award and in 2015 I won “Humanitarian of the Year” award from the New Rochelle Chamber of Commerce.
I used $1.5 million of the compensation from my wrongful conviction to establish The Deskovic Foundation, which exonerates the wrongfully convicted and seeks to improve our criminal justice system to prevent wrongful convictions in the future. The Foundation has already exonerated two innocent people, William Lopez and William Haughey, who collectively spent 32 years wrongfully imprisoned and is working on exonerating other people.
Most recently, I entered the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University to pursue a law degree. Becoming a lawyer was a childhood dream of mine, and with a law degree, I can directly exonerate the innocent.
Jeffrey Deskovic’s CV
Criminal Justice Advocate, Journalist, Public Speaker & Lobbyist for Reform