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Prakash Churaman Wins Freedom After Epic 7-Year Legal Battle

Facing growing public scrutiny, Queens DA office drops all charges in controversial case that featured a coerced confession from a 15-year-old suspect.

John Tarleton Jun 8

Prakash Churaman’s legal odyssey began at age 15 when he was snatched from his home and coerced by NYPD detectives into confessing to a murder he insists he didn’t commit. 

Churaman would spend six years behind bars. He waiting four years on Rikers Island for a trial, enduring a conviction that was reversed on appeal and then later a year of home detention monitored by an ankle monitor. All the while, prosecutors geared up for a retrial that could have landed Churaman in prison for the rest of his life. 

On Monday, the now 22-year-old Guyanese immigrant’s long ordeal suddenly ended when the Queens District Attorney’s office announced they were dropping all charges. It was Churaman’s 97th and final court hearing in the long-running case. 

 “This is the last time I’m gonna be in this courthouse,” he told stunned supporters as he headed toward the building’s exit. When he walked into the sunlight a moment later, he shouted, “I’m free! I can go wherever I want now!”

Video by Sue Brisk for The Indypendent.

Prakash Churaman and his lawyer joined us yesterday on The Indypendent News Hour on WBAI-99.5 FM

For more Indy coverage of Prakash Churaman’s case including our groundbreaking February 2021 cover story that brought his case to a broad public audience for the first time.

The Gamble of His Life 

by Julian Guerrero and Danny Katch

Queens DA Faces Growing Pressure to Throw Out Prakash Churaman Charges

By Danny Katch and Julian Guerrero

Media Attention is Growing on Prakash Churaman’s Case, and the Judge Isn’t Happy

By Danny Katch and Julian Guerrero

What Others Are Saying

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