John Giuca Case: Brooklyn

John's mother undercover
Photo by Harry Benson

In September of 2003, John Giuca was a college student, studying Criminal Justice at the prestigious John Jay University in New York City. But just two years later, his life would grind to a screeching halt when he was sentenced to 25-years to life for a crime he did not commit.

• No physical or forensic evidence linked John to the crime.
• No eyewitnesses ever linked John to the crime.
• The prosecution had no murder weapon, no clear motive, and, admittedly, no idea what actually happened.
• The physical evidence pointed away from John.
• Initial suspects gave conflicting statements, and changed their stories multiple times, in significant ways.

Despite this, John was convicted, with his co-defendant, Antonio Russo, for the 2003 murder of Mark Fisher. Even though Russo admitted he did not get a gun from John, and multiple witnesses saw a gun in Russo’s waistband both before and after the murder, John was nevertheless accused of giving Russo the gun, which Russo then used to shoot and kill Mark.

John was convicted based on the testimony of four main witnesses, three of which have recanted; two of them accusing the trial prosecutor of coercion and intimidation (allegations that aren’t unfamiliar to the Brooklyn DA’s office, or to these particular prosecutors). The fourth witness has been completely discredited, his lies both during the investigation and the trial exposed and laid out for you here.

So then how did an innocent man end up spending the last ten years in prison, and why is he still there? This site is dedicated to explaining just that, from an investigation whose most critical facts were abandoned, and whose lingering questions remain unanswered; to a trial riddled with inconsistencies and lies, a tainted jury, and enough prosecutorial misconduct to leave people like Professor Bennett Gershman (who literally wrote the book “Prosecutorial Misconduct”), astounded.

Wrongful convictions happen more than you’d like to think, and they can happen to normal, everyday people just like John. If this could happen to him, it could happen to anyone.

“ADA Nicolazzi displayed a cynical disregard for the truth in her presentation of the evidence…a prosecutor is ethically forbidden to play fast and loose with the evidence in the way ADA Nicolazzi did.”

“John Giuca, in my opinion, did not receive a fair trial. The integrity of his conviction was corrupted by an evidentiary foundation built on false evidence, and further undermined by the misconduct of the prosecutor who knowingly presented perjured testimony, and vouched for its truthfulness.” – Bennett Gershman, in a letter to DA Ken Thompson, February 24, 2014


Intro to "Mother Justice" by Christopher Ketcham
November 2007, an apartment in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn: Dee Quinn is partying with a man she often identifies in her journal as “Target.” Dee is 46 but doesn’t look it. She is tiny, girlish, with golden-blond hair. Her breasts are high in a push-up bra. Wearing heels, she arches her back. Target, who is 32 and has a shaved head, doesn’t want sex. He’s hungry. Dee cooks. They talk at the bar in the kitchen.

Hidden in her handbag on the nearby table is a digital recorder. She will secretly tape their discussion that night, and will eventually gather countless hours of conversation. She cooks Target dinner. They drink wine. They smoke weed. Target likes marijuana. At two a.m., Target leaves the apartment with a full stomach.

Only then does Dee let the mask fall. Her body shakes. She breaks into tears, overcome with the stress of months of deception. She has had Target under surveillance for an entire year before making contact, going so far as to rent an apartment around the corner from the house where he lives with his mother.

She stops crying, steadies her hand, reaches into the handbag, turns off the tape recorder, tests the sound, douses the lights, sits on the couch, and waits. She waits for Target to get on his way. She can’t be seen leaving the safe house, not at this late hour.

When she finally steps into the cold Brooklyn night, she drives five miles—not far, but in Brooklyn that distance can mean traversing cultural continents—to a three-story house in a neighborhood of old Colonial and Victorian homes, an area called Prospect Park South. Her husband, Frank, has waited up for her, as he has for the past six months, worried that she wouldn’t make it home...

Read the complete story here

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