Exonerated & Headed To Disney World!
Kareem Bellamy spent 15 years behind bars for a crime he did not commit.
The Queens native was exonerated this week, and signed off on a $2.75 million settlement – a sum that will serve as the beginning stages of making it up to his family, he told the NY Post.
Bellamy, now 47, was wrongfully convicted of stabbing his friend to death in 1994. It wasn’t until 2011, that Bellamy’s legal team learned that a gang member confessed to the crime. Unfortunately, but sadly, not surprisingly, detectives failed to interview the gang members. He refused a plea deal simply because, “truth was more important than freedom.”
Kareem, a father of three maintained his innocence and is now putting it all behind him as he works to rebuild his family and connect with his children.
And the first stop is Disney World with his 25-year-old daughter!
“It’s been hard to reconnect,” he told the Post. “I know it’s just a start.”
Bellamy’s incarceration adds to the countless others who have served time while affirming their innocence. It’s a disturbing case of lost freedom and injustice.
Since his release, it’s been rough finding a steady job but Bellamy remains hopeful and has been working with the Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation for Justice, which advocates for wrongly convicted people.
Read more of his story, here.