Lewis was sentenced to life in prison in 2019, for the murder of Karina Vetrano while she was jogging in Howard Beach.
Advocacy groups want the case reopened over allegations of prosecutorial misconduct, racial profiling, and coerced confessions.
“We want to say to DA Katz today, get it right, we want this overturned, and we want a new trial,” said Mike Thomas, an activist. “We had the Central Park 5 and we’re not going to have the Howard Beach 1 with Chanel Lewis. No justice, no peace. No justice, no peace.”
Over 40,000 New Yorkers signed the petition demanding a fair trial for Chanel Lewis.
The petition calls for Queens DA Melinda Katz to refer Chanel Lewis’ case to the Conviction Integrity Unit for the investigation to reopen his case and release him on bail.
Katz had previously indicated that her office would “look at” the case and “see how the Conviction Integrity Unit feels about it.”
Color Of Change, VOCAL-NY, Housing Justice for All, NYC Action Lab, LIFE Camp, and Drum NYC say that they are making their claims under the guidelines of the CIU.
The guidelines state investigations may be opened where there is “a credible claim of actual innocence or other wrongful conviction.”
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