Release” meant dis­pose of. Records shed no light on the rea­sons. A hand­written nota­tion in the Legal Aid Society file said that a high-​​ranking rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Police Depart­ment told lawyers that someone had issued an order to destroy the evi­dence in 1993. It is unclear who made the order before the case was even appealed. The order itself has not been found.

We were con­vinced this was a fishy case,” said Daniel S. Medwed, a North­eastern Uni­ver­sity pro­fessor who was also involved. “We just didn’t have a legal hook.”

Mr. Bunn was turned down for parole three times and was released in 2006. How­ever, he failed to report in prop­erly, vio­lating his parole, and was sent back upstate for a year. He was released a second time in 2009.

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