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Wrongfully convicted murderer to become lawyer/advocate

Tankleff's murder conviction was vacated 17 years after he went  to prison.
Getty Images/file photo

People heal in all sorts of ways. For Martin Tankleff, who’s 1990 conviction for the 1988 murder of his parents Seymour and Arlene was overturned after he spent 17 in prison, it is becoming a lawyer. In fact, Tankleff, 42, will receive his law degree from Touro Law School in Central Islip, NY this Sunday. He also plans to establish a foundation to work towards helping other people who were wrongly convicted of various crimes.

Martin Tankleff was originally sentenced to 50 years to life, and sent to the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, NY, but was finally freed by an appellate court 7 years ago following a review of new evidence from 20 witnesses. After a thorough investigation by veteran homicide prosecutor Thomas Schellhammer and Chief Trial Counsel Benjamin Rosenberg, (then) state attorney general Andrew Cuomo’s office decided not to retry him, and he ended up suing the New York for false imprisonment. As a result he settled for $3.375 million this past January. Tankleff now has a separate suit pending against Suffolk County on Long Island.

“I have said this all along, that one day I would become an attorney and advocate on behalf of others, to make sure that what happened to me doesn’t happen to anyone else. There are too many innocent men incarcerated in the system,” he stated.

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