Inside the groundbreaking investigation by Columbia professor James Liebman, on the case of Carlos DeLuna, who was executed in 1989 for a crime he didn’t commit:
At the trial, DeLuna’s defence team told the jury that Carlos Hernandez, not DeLuna, was the murderer. But the prosecutors ridiculed that suggestion. They told the jury that police had looked for a ‘Carlos Hernandez’ after his name had been passed to them by DeLuna’s lawyers, without success. They had concluded that Hernandez was a fabrication, a ‘phantom’ who simply did not exist. The chief prosecutor said in summing up that Hernandez was a ‘figment of DeLuna’s imagination.’
Four years after DeLuna was executed, Liebman decided to look into the DeLuna case as part of a project he was undertaking into the fallibility of the death penalty. He asked a private investigator to spend one day – just one day – looking for signs of the elusive Carlos Hernandez.