ANNANDALE, NJ – He was convicted of murder and rape and spent 16 years in prison.
It didn’t matter that before the trial, a DNA test yielded a negative result.
He lost all seven of his appeals. He was turned down for parole.
But eight years ago, Jeffrey Deskovic was exonerated by further DNA testing that also identified the actual perpetrator. Deskovic believes his wrongful conviction was caused by a coerced, false confession; prosecutorial misconduct; fraud by a medical examiner; and an inept public defender.
On Friday, Jan. 11, Chabad of Hunterdon will host “An Evening with Jeffrey Deskovic: A Look at Criminal Justice Reform.”
Deskovic will speak about his experience and his advocacy for criminal justice reform. He’ll talk about a foundation that is dedicated to helping those who lack proper representation, and his pursuit for policy changes in the criminal justice system that are more equitable and effective.
Deskovic holds a Master’s Degree from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, with a thesis written on the causes of wrongful conviction and the reforms needed to prevent them. He is the Executive Director of the Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation for Justice, a non-profit organization whose purpose is to free the wrongfully convicted; prevent wrongful convictions by educating the public and elected officials on the causes of wrongful conviction; advocate for changes in the law and procedures needed to address the cracks in the system; and helping the exonerated reintegrate back into society.
Deskovic launched the Foundation using $1.5 million of money that he was awarded as compensation.
This event is suitable for all ages. A catered kosher Shabbat dinner will be served, followed by the presentation. Space is limited and reservations are encouraged.
Interactive Shabbat services will be held at 6:45 p.m. Dinner and the featured presentation follow at 7:30.