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1977 murder conviction overturned for the Buffalo 5

Posted at 6:40 PM, Aug 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-18 18:40:57-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Two men, who were convicted of the murder of a Buffalo man more than 45 years ago have had their convictions overturned.

62 year-old John Walker and Darryl Boyd spent decades in prison for the murder of William Crawford when they were 16 years-old.

“Ever since they arrested us, we’ve been doing everything we could to get up from out under this murder conviction,” said Walker.

Wednesday, a State Supreme Court Justice overturned the murder convictions from 1977.

“I keep asking myself, what do you give somebody that you’ve taken everything from? I have no answer for that,” Walker said.

Throughout their trial and time in jail, the pair has maintained their innocence. Since they were released from prison in the 90’s both Boyd and Walker have been fighting to have their convictions overturned.

A recently filed motion to exonerate, made by Walker and Boyd argued both men had ineffective lawyers at the time of the murder, and argued the DA’s office, 45 years ago, hid evidence including photos that would have set them free. Even though Justice Christopher Burns disagreed with both those claims, he still overturned the verdicts saying, “the scales tip ever so slightly in favor of the defendants.”

Erie County District Attorney John Flynn says he disagrees with the verdict.

“I oppose the motion, but I’m not going to re-try it,” he said. “I’ll oppose this kind of motion every single day. It’s impractical for me to have a new trial. That’s not going to happen.”

To the claims the DA’s office hid evidence more than 40 years ago, Flynn had this to say:

“There was no Brady violation, and there was no point in time ever that this office did not turn over materials that they were supposed to turn over.”

The men now go back to being innocent until proven guilty.