Law Offices of Paul Casteleiro

Cases and Legislation

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Wrongful Conviction Cases working with Centurion Ministries 
John Kogut
Kogut was convicted along with Dennis Halstead and John Restivo for the the 1984 rape and murder of Teresa Fusco.  After 18 years in prison, in 2003 all were released after DNA evidence revealed that none of the defendants were a match to the rapist/murderer. In 2005 the Nassau County District Attorney decided to retry Kogut based on a videotaped false confession, where Kogut implicated himself, Halstead and Restivo, after being interrogated for over 18 hours. The three month bench trial resulted in a finding of actual innocence for Kogut. One week later the prosecution dropped the indictments against Halstead and Restivo. 
Clarence Moore 
Moore was convicted of rape in 1986. The victim consistently testified that she did not see the assailant clearly. However, after undergoing hypnosis she was somehow able to identify her assailant as Moore. While requests were made to re-test the DNA evidence (that did not link Moore to the rape) the Prosecution informed Centurion Ministries that that evidence had been misplaced. In 2002 Moore's indictment was overturned, however the state appealed and his conviction was reinstated which caused more rounds of appeals until 2004 when the New Jersey Supreme Court sent the case back down to the trial court for a hearing on the issue of hypnosis and whether the current NJ guidelines were sufficient for admitting hypnosis into criminal cases. Casteleiro made it apparent to the court that hypnotically refreshed memories are unreliable. Such testimony is no longer admissible in New Jersey courts. 
Nathanal Walker
Walker was convicted in 1975 and sentenced to life plus 50 years in prison for the brutal rape of a Elizabeth, NJ woman. Walker spent 8 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. He was freed in 1986 after DNA evidence proved he was not the rapist.  
Damaso Vega 
Vega was convicted in 1982 of murdering the sixteen year-old daughter of his best friend. He was freed in 1989 after it was determined that three of the primary witnesses against Vega had lied. All three recanted their testimony at a post-conviction evidenciary hearing.
James Landano
Landano was convicted in 1977 for the murder of a police officer during an armed robbery in Kearny, NJ. Landano spent 13 years in prison. In 1998 represented by Paul Casteleiro he was re-tried and freed after the jury deliberated for less than two hours. 
Jorge De Los Santos 
In 1975 De Los Santos was convicted of murder. After nine years in prison he was released after it was proven that the witness who testified to a jail house confession had in fact perjured himself and invented the confession.