How a California group home for troubled children came tragically undone and what it means for the state’s chance at reform. This story was co-produced with California Sunday.
Evidence of a convicted murderer’s possible innocence sat buried in a case file for more than two decades. Now, a prosecutor in Brooklyn will have to answer for the mistake.
On the afternoon of July 18, 1990, James Leeper, a newly minted homicide prosecutor in Brooklyn, had to make a challenging closing argument. The man he had charged with murder had mounted a substantial defense—offering plane tickets and video footage indicating he had been vacationing at Disney World when a man named Darryl Rush was shot dead in front of a Brooklyn housing project. Leeper acknowledged to the jury that it seemed like the “perfect alibi.”