Statement from The Exoneration Project, Legal Aid and Others on DAs Vance & Clark’s Announcement to Vacate Criminal Convictions in Cases Where Evidence of Guilt was Purportedly Obtained or Produced by Corrupt Former NYPD Detective Joseph E. Franco

April 15, 2021 


Karen Newirth
The Exoneration Project

Redmond Haskins
The Legal Aid Society


(NEW YORK, NY) – The Exoneration Project, The Legal Aid Society, The Bronx Defenders, Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem, New York County Defender Services, The Office of the Appellate Defender and The Center for Appellate Litigation issued the following statement in response to New York County District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. and Bronx County District Attorney Darcel Clark’s announcement to vacate criminal convictions in cases where evidence of guilt was purportedly obtained or produced by corrupt former New York City Police Department (NYPD) Detective Joseph E. Franco:

“Although their actions came late, we thank DA Vance and DA Clark for taking this necessary step to right many of the injustices created by Detective Franco’s documented misdeeds. Franco’s actions led to wrongful convictions that upended the lives of so many New Yorkers, the majority of whom were Black, Brown, or poor. We call on all five New York City District Attorneys to review all convictions in which officers with histories of misconduct played a role. Prosecutors must take an affirmative role in rooting out police abuses similar to those committed by Franco so New Yorkers know that this kind of brazen misconduct and the presumed impunity from the law that underlies it will no longer be tolerated.” 


Earlier this week, the aforementioned groups issued two letters to DA Vance and DA Clark calling on their offices to vacate convictions on cases where Mr. Franco played a large role:

Letter to DA Vance:  

Letter to DA Clark:  

Last week, Kings County District Attorney Eric Gonzalez vacated 90 convictions in which former NYPD Officer Joseph Franco played a key role. The Brooklyn District Attorney took this step because incontrovertible evidence has established that, while Mr. Franco was an NYPD police officer, he repeatedly and routinely committed perjury and engaged in other misconduct in connection with his duties, including fabricating crimes and charging innocent individuals with those crimes.