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Keker & Van Nest Wins Freedom For Man Wrongfully Convicted for Murder

San Francisco Chronicle

Last month, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Marla Miller ruled that San Francisco police and prosecutors had failed to reveal to Caramad Conley's original defense team before his 1994 trial that the city had paid thousands of dollars and provided the use of a house to the star prosecution witness, police informant Clifford Polk. Miller cited what she called "voluminous evidence" that Polk, who is now dead, had lied on the stand when he said he was not in a city witness protection program and therefore receiving benefits.

Keker & Van Nest attorneys Daniel Purcell, Eric MacMichael, and Zachary Bookman overturned his unconstitutional murder conviction in mid-December of 2010, by proving the San Francisco Police Department had suppressed the fact that they paid the key prosecution witness thousands of dollars and then knowingly allowed the witness to lie about the payments during Conley’s trial. During a status conference today, prosecutors admitted they do not have enough evidence to retry the case and moved to dismiss the prosecution.

"It was a long time coming, but we are thrilled that justice finally prevailed," said Dan Purcell, who led Mr. Conley's defense team along with Eric MacMichael and Zachary Bookman. "Ultimately, after looking at the facts, the District Attorney had to concede there wasn't even a basis to prosecute Caramad, much less to convict him. Caramad is an innocent man who lost 18 years of his life to false testimony and deliberate and inexcusable police misconduct. Nothing can give him back that lost time, but we know he's looking forward to spending time with his family and resuming his life."

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