Ex-gang member has murder rap tossed, released from jail

By Lia Eustachewich | New York POst
August 5, 2015 | 2:00am

conviction overturned gang member nycThe murder conviction of a 25-year-old Brooklyn man who spent nearly eight years in prison was tossed out Tuesday because prosecutors under former DA Charles Hynes bungled parts of his case.

Joel Fowler, a Crips gang member at the time, was found guilty of gunning down rival Bloods member Duane “Bundy” Smith, 24, execution-style in Flatbush in 2007.

Fowler, who was 18 at the time, was sentenced to 25 years to life.

But a probe by current Brooklyn DA Ken Thompson’s Conviction Review Unit found issues with Fowler’s case, including with the sole witness to the shooting, who later recanted her testimony.

“It is apparent now, and should’ve been apparent then, that the identifying witness’ statements recounting the incident had fatal flaws,” Mark Hale, who heads the review unit, told Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Matthew D’Emic.conviction overturned gang member nyc 2

Four other witnesses to the shooting were never called to testify at the trial, said Hale.

“All of them would’ve looked across the courtroom, looked at Mr. Fowler and said, ‘No, that’s not the guy,’?” he said.

Fowler’s conviction is the 14th to be overturned by the current DA’s Office.

“[I’m] leaving the past in the past and going forward with my future,” said Fowler, who exchanged a handshake with Hale after the brief hearing.

stef Posted by on Aug 5 2015. Filed under Homicide, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

4 Comments for “Ex-gang member has murder rap tossed, released from jail”

  1. Angelo

    And nothing will happen to the prosecutors like always. They can hide evidence, lie, cheat, and make up anything to get a conviction and nobody can touch them. Gangbangers handle that.

  2. the bar

    the DA should be charged along with the police

  3. bigger least

    At least the guy is getting let out and he is still only 25 years old. He is the 14th conviction overturned by the Brooklyn D.A. Review Unit.
    This is hard proof the current D.A. is sincerely and effectively cleaning up the mess from the dirty work of the past.
    Yes, they had a lot of bad convictions – but the current Brooklyn D.A. is far and above setting the standard for the nation on righting the wrongs of the past and reforming the way things are done going forward.
    If Mr. Fowler had been convicted in Los Angeles County, he would still be locked up.
    The L.A. County D.A. has only recently announced the formation of their conviction review unit.
    They have no date set for producing any results and haven’t publicly acknowledged any specific cases set for review.
    Do you think L.A. County doesn’t have any bad convictions from the past 30 years?
    They got plenty and a half.

  4. cosmos-a

    wow, this is interesting. so maybe there’s hope certain cases will get a chance in LA, in this lifetime.

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