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‘All This Time They Really Had the Wrong Person’: Brooklyn Man Convicted After Judge Allowed False Witness ID to Stand Because the Image Resembled the Suspect Is Finally Free After 19 Years

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A Black man who was wrongfully accused of murder and spent more than half of his life in prison is free following a review by the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Conviction Review Unit.Authorities determined someone made a mistake when identifying Sheldon Thomas, then 16, as the killer of another teen in 2004.On Thursday, March 9, Brooklyn district attorney Eric Gonzalez announced that — following a hearing where new findings were presented — Thomas, who today is 35, should be released from prison after spending nearly 19 years behind bars for a crime he did not commit, the Daily News reports. Thomas was wrongfully convicted of the Christmas Eve murder of a 14-year-old boy named Anderson Bercy, despite maintaining his innocence.A judge convicted him of murder, attempted murder and other charges, sentencing him to 25 years to life in prison. Thomas’ release comes after he served 76 percent of his minimum sentence.New evidence shows that a witness identified Thomas after seeing an image of another Sheldon Thomas, according to Brooklyn district attorney Eric Gonzalez. A judge at the time indicated the image showed enough of a resemblance.