Jeffrey Mark Deskovic
The crime occurred on November 15, 1989 in Peekskill, New York. Correa had gone out with a portable cassette player and a camera for her photography class. Her body was found two days later. Although Correa and Deskovic were not close friends and Deskovic was not popular in school, Correa had been one of the few students that had been nice to him, even helping him with algebra. Deskovic has explained that this was the reason he had cried copiously during Correa's funeral. The police, however, thought Deskovic was showing suspicious behavior.
The jury convicted Deskovic based on testimony from a Peekskill detective that Deskovic had confessed to the crime. Deskovic proclaimed his innocence on several occasions, but was denied a reopening of the case by the then district attorney Jeanine Pirro.
In 2006, a new district attorney authorized a DNA test which led to Deskovic's exoneration. The DNA from the crime scene was matched to that of another prison inmate who was serving a life term for another murder, and this inmate confessed to the Correa murder. Deskovic's conviction was overturned and he was released.
Deskovic, once an altar boy, is a convert to Islam. He converted a year into his sentence for kinship and protection. Regarding his decision he stated, "It was a major factor in surviving prison in terms of my mental sanity." He later said, "If it weren’t for my religion I would have taken my own life in prison, or I would have lost my mind."
Jeffrey Deskovic is now an advocate for reform of the criminal justice system and works to educate the public through his public speaking, published articles, and The Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation for Justice.
- Santos, Fernanda. "DNA Evidence Frees a Man Imprisoned For Half His Life". Retrieved 4 June 2013.
- Fernanda Santos (21 September 2006). "DNA Evidence Frees a Man Imprisoned for Half His Life". The New York Times.
- Fernanda Santos (25 November 2007). "Vindicated by DNA, but a Lost Man on the Outside". The New York Times.