After spending a year in prison, an innocent Brooklyn man was granted his freedom last week. Ronald Bozeman, 65, was charged in relation to a robbery near Brooklyn’s Atlantic Terminal last year, and was identified by two witnesses as the gunman. However, the pair later recanted, and identified another man, George Johnson, as the one who stole $9,000.
While the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office pursued a case against Johnson, Bozeman was left behind bars without bail, and still faced the possibility of life in prison. As the New York Post reported, Bozeman’s lawyer, defense attorney Mark Bederow, laid claims of prosecutorial misconduct against the district attorney’s office, leading to his client’s release less than two weeks later.
“The idea that the same assistant district attorney would indict two men as the same person intentionally within six weeks of each other and not recognize the serious problems in the prosecution is unbelievable,” Bederow said.
Bozeman was surprisingly positive upon his release, accompanied by his family as he spoke to the press.
“I feel relieved and not as bitter as I thought I would be,” he said. “The first thing I’m going to do is go get something to eat with my family.”
“Based on a faulty ID procedure which we discovered and alerted the defense attorney to, we moved to have the charges against Bozeman dismissed,” a Brooklyn DA spokesman told the Post, adding that Johnson had pleaded guilty.
The case is just the latest in a history of mishaps from the Brooklyn District Attorney office, which is responsible for the 15-year imprisonment of another innocent man, Jabbar Collins, who is now suing the city for $150 million in damages for witness intimidation and evidence manipulation. Collins was convicted for the murder of Rabbi Abraham Pollack in 1995, which was overturned in 2010.