©michael steele
WHO WE ARE

Glenn Garber, Founder & Director
Glenn A. Garber has been a criminal defense attorney in New York City for over 20 years. His lifelong commitment to representing the indigent started after graduating from Cardozo School of Law in 1989, when he began his career at the Legal Aid Society, zealously representing thousands of indigent persons. In the early 1990s, he built a private practice with a strong emphasis on criminal trials and appeals, post-conviction litigation, and civil rights. Glenn A. Garber has represented countless clients in their criminal defenses. All the while, he remained dedicated to serving the poor, doing substantial work for the indigent on state homicide and federal death penalty cases.

In 2002, Mr. Garber was introduced to innocence work. Working with the Innocence Project, he won exoneration for Hector Gonzalez who had been wrongfully convicted of murder in 1996 (read the article). Recognizing the despair and destruction caused by a wrongful conviction and the importance of reclaiming the lives of so many other desperate innocent prisoners (especially those whose cases lack DNA), Glenn A. Garber has committed himself to helping this forgotten population in their fight for freedom.

Rebecca Freedman, Assistant Director
Rebecca Freedman is EXI's full time Assistant Director. She is a graduate of the School of Law at Washington University in St. Louis. While in law school, she interned at the Legal Aid Society, Criminal Defense Division and assisted in representing indigent criminal defendants. As a student, she was an Associate Editor of the Washington University Global Studies Law Review. Rebecca Freedman has also interned at the ACLU in both the National Prison Project and the Campaign Against Racial Profiling. She received her undergraduate degree from the George Washington University in Washington D.C.

Anne Feldman, Case Manager
Judge Anne Feldman volunteers her time supervising the case vetting and selection process. She is a retired New York State Supreme Court Judge with 30 years of experience with state court homicide and felony trials and post-conviction claims.

Judge Feldman is a graduate of Antioch College and Yale Law School. She served as Chair of the Criminal Law Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York having previously served as Chair of the Association's Correction Committee. Judge Feldman is also an advisor to New York's Justice Task Force on Wrongful Convictions, established by Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman of the Court of Appeals. Her depth of knowledge and experience is an invaluable resource in our exoneration efforts.

Angharad Vaughan, Staff Attorney
Angharad Vaughan is a volunteer staff attorney for EXI who assists with case evaluation and litigation. She is an experienced criminal defense attorney and specializes in New York State and Federal appellate and post-conviction litigation. She co-authored Actual-Innocence Policy, Non-DNA Innocence Claims, published in the New York Law Journal in April, 2008.

Angharad Vaughan is a graduate from Sarah Lawrence College. As an undergraduate, Ms. Vaughan led creative writing workshops for inmates at the Valhalla Correctional Facility in New York. She received her law degree from Northeastern University School of Law located in Boston, Massachusetts.

Sarah Schindler-Williams, Outreach & Development Coordinator
Sarah Schindler-Williams volunteers as EXI's Coordinator of Outreach & Development, serving as the point of contact for media relations and foundational and private donors as well as law firms who seek to support our efforts. Sarah Schindler-Williams also serves on EXI's Board of Directors.

Sarah Schindler-Williams is an associate at Ballard Spahr LLP. She is a graduate of Brown University and New York University Law School where she worked on post-conviction death penalty cases.

NEWS & ISSUES

Derrick Deacon Exonerated at retrial, Free after 25 years in Prison
21 November 2013

EXI client Derrick Deacon was exonerated on November 18 when a Brooklyn jury acquitted him at his retrial for a 1989 murder he did not commit.

In describing Derrick's case, The New York Daily News put it well: "It's been more than 24 years since Derrick Deacon was jailed for a murder charge he's always denied, 12 years since a different killer was identified, 17 months since an appeals court ordered a new trial - and it took only nine minutes for a jury to finally clear him." Read More

At this recent trial, jurors heard from a federal cooperator was an insider gang member and knew the real killer, who had confessed to him moments after committing the murder in 1989. An eyewitness, who had passed the killer on the stairs as he fled the scene, also testified for the defense. In her emotional testimony, she stated that she was "a thousand million percent" sure that Deacon was not the man she passed on the stairs, and that she had not said so at his original trial in 1989 because prosecutors threatened to take away her children if she told the truth and exonerated him.

Finally vindicated, Deacon wept when he heard the not-guilty verdict on Monday afternoon. He celebrated his release from prison after nearly 25 years on November 20, and is thrilled to return to his family and to a future it seemed might never come. The New York Post reported on Deacon's first night of freedom, during which he enjoyed chicken wings and chili and marveled at how much has changed in the outside world since his wrongful conviction.


Devon Ayers, Michael Cosme, and Carlos Perez Fully Exonerated at Long Last
20 September 2013

Devon Ayers, Michael Cosme and Carlos Perez were released from prison on January 23, 2013, after serving more than 17 years behind bars for two 1995 Bronx homicides they did not commit: the murder of a Federal Express executive in her apartment, and the felony murder of a livery driver in his cab two days later and four blocks away. There was no physical evidence tying the murders to the men or to one another - they were connected only by the prosecution's witnesses who claimed that Ayers, Cosme and Perez committed both. They were exonerated of the livery driver's murder in December, based on reliable confessions from the true killers which proved that that the prosecution's only witnesses on both murders were wrong. On January 23, prosecutors conceded that their convictions for the second murder must also fall.

EXI worked together with attorneys from the Legal Aid Society, Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady LLP and the Center for Appellate Litigation on the case. Ayers, Cosme and Perez were released three months after motions were filed to exonerate them of both murders, and they were thrilled to be reunited with their families after so many years.

When they were released, it was agreed that the Bronx District Attorney's Office would be given 90 days to decide whether it had any credible evidence to justify re-trying them. But on the 90th day, prosecutors announced for the first time their intention to attempt biological testing on evidence recovered in the Federal Express executive's murder. This testing had been requested by the men over the past decade but the Bronx District Attorney's Office previously opposed these requests, claiming that the evidence was not relevant. It nonetheless insisted in April that the outstanding charges against Ayers, Cosme and Perez could not be officially dropped until the testing was completed, further delaying justice for these innocent men.

As expected, none of the biological testing implicated the men in the murder of the Federal Express Executive in any way. Thus, on September 20, 2013 - nearly nine months after the men were released from prison - the Bronx District Attorney's Office finally agreed to dismiss the indictments against them. It is only now that they have been fully exonerated and their names cleared that they can really begin to move on with their lives.

Had they not been exonerated of both murders, Ayers, Cosme and Perez would have had to serve 50 years to life in prison.

ABC Eyewitness News Reports on Their Release

The New York Times Reports on Their Release

The New York Times Reports on Their Ultimate Exoneration