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Man Wins Freedom After 20 Years, Thanks To The Legal Aid Society And Shearman & Sterling; Reunited With Son Whom He Met Only Once As An Infant

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

  • Organization: The Legal Aid Society

Shearman & Sterling LLP teamed up with The Legal Aid Society’s Criminal Appeals Bureau and the Criminal Defense Practice to overturn the wrongful conviction of Carlos Morillo, who spent 20 years in prison. The legal team conducted an extensive investigation and obtained an admission from the single eyewitness that she had lied when she testified that from the fourth-floor apartment of her Bronx window she saw Mr. Morillo commit the crime. Mr. Morillo’s attorneys also created a video re-enactment of the crime that illustrated the difficulties the witness would have had in seeing details from four stories above the scene.

During his years in prison, Mr. Morillo had lost contact with a son he had seen only once as an infant. After months of investigation, his attorneys tracked down the child’s mother and he was re-united with this son, now 20, and a two-year-old grandson.

The Shearman litigation team consisted of Brian Polovoy, a partner with the firm, and Melissa Godwin. Elizabeth Felber, a supervisor in the Society’s Bronx Criminal Office, and Society staff attorney Michael Haidas, formerly with Shearman & Sterling, worked with the Shearman team.

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