Homicide

Judge tosses out 1991 murder conviction linked to former NYPD detective

  • Derrick Hamilton, center, hugs his wife Nicole outside a courtroom after he was exonerated Friday, Jan. 9, 2015, in New York. Hamilton had served 21 years in prison before being paroled in 2011. The decision on Friday cleared his conviction. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

    Derrick Hamilton, center, hugs his wife Nicole outside a courtroom after he was exonerated Friday, Jan. 9, 2015, in New York. Hamilton had served 21 years in prison before being paroled in 2011. The decision on Friday cleared his conviction. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)  (The Associated Press)

  • Derrick Hamilton, second from right, with his wife Nicole, center, their daughter Maya, 2, and supporter Kevin Smith, far left, speaks during a news conference outside a courtroom after his exoneration Friday, Jan. 9, 2015, in New York.  Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson vacated the conviction of Hamilton served 21 years in prison before being paroled in 2011. Smith, who served 27 years in prison, says his case is currently being reviewed for exoneration in D.A. Thompson's conviction review unit.  (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

    Derrick Hamilton, second from right, with his wife Nicole, center, their daughter Maya, 2, and supporter Kevin Smith, far left, speaks during a news conference outside a courtroom after his exoneration Friday, Jan. 9, 2015, in New York. Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson vacated the conviction of Hamilton served 21 years in prison before being paroled in 2011. Smith, who served 27 years in prison, says his case is currently being reviewed for exoneration in D.A. Thompson's conviction review unit. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)  (The Associated Press)

  • Derrick Hamilton, center, walks among a group of men wearing caps reading "wrongfully convicted," after he was exonerated on Friday, Jan. 9, 2015, in New York.  Hamilton's 1991 murder conviction was vacated after prosecutors told a New York City judge that the state's key witness had lied about who did it. The decision at the hearing cleared Hamilton, who had served 21 years in prison before being paroled in 2011. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

    Derrick Hamilton, center, walks among a group of men wearing caps reading "wrongfully convicted," after he was exonerated on Friday, Jan. 9, 2015, in New York. Hamilton's 1991 murder conviction was vacated after prosecutors told a New York City judge that the state's key witness had lied about who did it. The decision at the hearing cleared Hamilton, who had served 21 years in prison before being paroled in 2011. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)  (The Associated Press)

A New York City judge has tossed out a 1991 murder conviction against a man who says he was framed by a now-retired detective.

Derrick Hamilton had served 21 years in prison before being paroled in 2011. The decision on Friday cleared his conviction.

The 49-year-old Hamilton had always maintained his innocence in the shooting death of Nathaniel Cash. He told reporters after a court hearing in Brooklyn that he felt vindicated.

Cash's girlfriend testified against Hamilton. She later retracted her testimony.

The retired detective is at the center of several wrongful conviction claims.

Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson is re-examining dozens of cases from the 1980s and 1990s. It's one of the nation's most ambitious efforts to determine whether old cases were handled properly.