Monday, October 22, 2018
6:00–8:00 p.m.


Adelphi University
Nexus Building, Room 239

THE EXONERATED: False Confessions and Wrongful Conviction

Over the past 23 years, more than 2,000 innocent Americans were released from prison after being wrongfully convicted of a crime. Hear the stories from Jeffrey Deskovic, MA; Lorenzo Johnson; and Martin Tankleff, JD at an exclusive Adelphi University event. 

Co-hosted by Adelphi University’s Criminal Justice Program and Club, Office of Alumni Relations, and the Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation.

Jeffrey Deskovic, M.A. – Internationally recognized wrongful conviction expert. Founder of The Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation, which has freed 7 wrongfully convicted. Working within the It Can Happen To You coalition which it is part of, The Foundation played a central role in the recent passage into law the countries first Commission On Prosecutorial Conduct. Jeff is in his 3rd year of law school at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University in pursuit of his dream of freeing others as an attorney. The motivation for his advocacy work is that he was wrongfully imprisoned for 16 years-from age 17-32- for murder and rape prior to being exonerated by DNA evidence.

Lorenzo Johnson – Lorenzo Johnson was released after 16 ½ years in prison for a murder he did not commit when the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled there was legally insufficient evidence. After a short 4 months of freedom, the US Supreme Court reinstated his wrongful conviction, resulting in Lorenzo returning to prison where he spent another 5 years before regaining his freedom via a NOLO CONTENDER plea. His choice: take the deal and go home the next day or continue fighting for exoneration which might take another 1 to 5 years to win, or possibly even lose and have to serve out his life without parole sentence. Lorenzo frequently lectures about wrongful conviction; writes articles in The Huffington Post and other publications; and media interviews. The Deskovic Foundation was part of the team which assisted Lorenzo in regaining his freedom by helping him get media attention and arranging rallies.

Professor Martin H. “Marty” Tankleff, JD – A Long Island resident, released from prison in 2007 after serving 17 yrs for a crime he didn’t commit- the murder of his parents in 1988, when he was 17 years old. At the time of the Tankleff murders, Suffolk County law enforcement was under investigation for corruption—including problems with coerced confessions- by the State Investigation Commission (SIC) on the order of Governor Mario Cuomo. The SIC’s scathing report included a finding that the detective who would interrogate Marty had perjured himself in a previous murder case. Just weeks after his release Marty resumed his college education at Hofstra University, where he received his B.A. in Sociology. He then attended Touro Law School, earning a J.D. in 2014. While at Touro, Marty helped establish the Wrongful Conviction Externship program that placed students in law firms working on wrongful conviction cases. Since his release, he has been a zealous and vocal advocate for those who have been wrongly convicted. He testified before the New York State Senate, New York State Assembly, New York City Council, and various Bar Associations with the goal of making electronic recording of interviews and interrogations mandatory in New York. 


For more information or to RSVP, please contact:

Office of Alumni Relations
Nexus Building, 2nd Floor
p – 516.877.3470
e –