Man freed after 2 decades in prison for rabbi murder

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Handcuffs Off

David Ranta spent 23 years behind bars after being wrongfully convicted in the murder of Rabbi Chaskel Werzberger.

NEW YORK (CNN) — A New York man has been freed after serving more than two decades in prison for the killing of a rabbi during a botched diamond heist, with a judge calling his conviction a miscarriage of justice.

Brooklyn prosecutors recommended that David Ranta’s conviction be tossed out after a onetime witness said he had been coached into identifying the suspect in a police lineup. Ranta was released after a hearing Thursday afternoon.

He had been convicted of shooting Chaskel Werzberger during the attempted robbery of a diamond courier in Brooklyn in 1991. He was sentenced to 37 1/2 years to life in prison on second-degree murder and other charges.