Convicting the Innocent
DNA Exonerations Database

Jeff Deskovic

First NameJeff
Last NameDeskovic
Year of Conviction1990
Year of Exoneration2006
Testing inculpated culpritCold Hit
State of ConvictionNew York
Trial, Bench Trial, or Guilty PleaTrial
Type of CrimeRape and Murder
Death SentenceNo
Gender of ExonereeMale
Race of exonereeWhite
Mentally Ill or Intellectually DisabledTreated for Mentall Illness prior to trial
Description / Quotes from Testimony Concerning Defense

● Counsel asserted that the jury did not have enough evidence to convict beyond a reasonable doubt.

Did the defendant testify at trial?No
Types of evidence at trial
  • Confession
  • DNA excluded
  • Forensic Evidence
Were non-public facts alleged?Yes
Type of Forensic Evidence
  • DNA
Types of Flawed Forensics
  • Valid (Excluded)
Brief Quote / Description of Testimony

DNA testing had excluded Deskovic.

Examples of Non-Public or Corroborated Facts and Inconsistencies

● Gatorade bottle used to hit victim ● Locations of “three distinct crime scenes” ● Victim was carrying a camera and location where it was found ● Victim received blow to the head ● The victim was dragged and her bra ripped off

Quotes from law enforcement testimony

Asked, “…had you in any way affirmatively related to Jeffrey the knowledge that you had gleaned from the results of the autopsy?” the detective responded “No, I did not.” When asked on redirect, “did you yourself relate to any of those students any of the observations that you had made of the various scenes that you had seen…” the Detective replied, “No, I didn’t. they were given no information at all.”

Quotes from prosecution arguments

The defendant knew “certain intimate details that only the true killer would know.” The detectives “did not disclose any of their observations or any of the evidence they recovered from Jeffrey nor for that matter, to anyone else they interviewed.”

Interrogation RecordedAudio recording of part of interrogation
Highest level reachedFederalHabeas
Claims Raised During All Appeals and Postconviction
  • Coerced Confession
  • Due Process
  • Fifth Amendment
  • Sixth Amendment
  • State Law Evidence Claim
Harmless Error Rulings
  • G
  • OG
Citations to judicial opinions

People v. Deskovic, 201 A.D.2d 579 (N.Y. App. Div. 2 Dept. 1994)
People v. Deskovic, 640 N.E.2d 152 (N.Y.1994)
Deskovic v. Mann, No. 97 Civ. 3023(BSJ), 1997 WL 811524 (S.D.N.Y. 1997)
Deskovic v. Mann, 210 F.3d 354 (2d Cir. 2000)
Deskovic v. Mann, 531 U.S. 1088 (2001)

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