Convicting the Innocent
DNA Exonerations Database

Yusef Salaam

First NameYusef
Last NameSalaam
Year of Conviction1990
Year of Exoneration2002
Testing inculpated culpritNon-Cold Hit
State of ConvictionNew York
Trial, Bench Trial, or Guilty PleaTrial
Type of CrimeRape
Death SentenceNo
Gender of ExonereeMale
Race of exonereeBlack
Description / Quotes from Testimony Concerning Defense

● Defense attorney did assert innocence and that confession was coerced.

Did the defendant testify at trial?Yes
Quotes from Exoneree Testimony

“I told him I was never in the park with a female jogger.”

Types of evidence at trial
  • Confession
  • DNA excluded
  • Forensic Evidence
  • Informant
Were non-public facts alleged?Yes
Type of Forensic Evidence
  • DNA
  • Hair
Types of Flawed Forensics
  • Vague
  • Valid
Brief Quote / Description of Testimony

Hair was found “similar” to those of the victim.

Examples of Non-Public or Corroborated Facts and Inconsistencies

● Described attack on a female jogger in Central Park. ● Described rape. ● Victim was hit with a pipe. ● The pipe was about sixteen inches long, with tape on it. ● Victim’s clothes w

Quotes from law enforcement testimony

“A: He told me what happened in Central Park. . . He, Yusef, said at approximately eight o’clock he was outside of his building on Fifth Avenue with group of friends and . . . that they all went into Central Park. . . he saw a female jogger coming down the path. Kevin ran out and stopped her. She started to struggle with Corey. He said he stepped up to her and he hit her with the pipe. He said she went down but she was still struggling. So he hit her with the pipe again. He then said he then went down on the floor and he was feeling her tits. He said her shirt was on but then Corey took her shirt off and lifted it above her tits and he started to feel her breasts again. He said then somebody took her pants but he doesn’t know who took the pants off and Kevin got on top of her and to quote him Kevin started to fuck her. He said Kevin got off and Corey got on and Corey fucked her. He said then Corey got off and two other guys but he doesn’t know who they are they got on her and they fucked her. He said then he just he just left.” “There must have been some basis. . . for his knowledge of the crime for me to now sit here and tell you, yeah, I think he was there. Yes, I do think he was there…”

Quotes from prosecution arguments

“If you take the time to look at the evidence in this case, if you examine the photographs, if you look at the defendant’s statements, the evidence in this case again and again corroborates for you what the defendants describe, and admit they did in the park on that night.” “No one fed any information to Antron McCray, to Yusef Salaam or to Raymond Santana. And the reason you know that is because to this day [the victim] can’t tell you what happened to her in the park on that night.”

Interrogation RecordedVideotape of part of interrogation
Jailhouse informant, Co-defendant, Incentivized WitnessCD
Examples of Non-Public or Corroborated Facts and Inconsistencies● Non-public details in codefendants McCray, Richardson, Santana and Wise’s reported and false confessions (and defendant also reportedly falsely confessed), see False Confessions Appendix.
Highest level reachedAppeal
Claims Raised During All Appeals and Postconviction
  • Brady
  • Bruton
  • Jury Misconduct
  • State Law Evidence Claim
Harmless Error Rulings
  • G
  • HE
  • OG
Citations to judicial opinions

People v. Salaam. 187 A.D.2d 363 (N.Y. App. Div. 1 Dept. 1992)
People v. Salaam. 629 N.E.2d 371 (N.Y. 1993)

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