NEW YORK -- A man who spent 16 years in prison on a New York City murder conviction has been freed after the Brooklyn district attorney's office conceded the case had been mishandled and should be thrown out.

Kevin Richardson, an executive assistant district attorney, said the office had not learned until May that the key witness who incriminated Jabbar Collins in the 1994 murder of landlord Abraham Pollack had recanted before the trial. Richardson said the office could not retry the case because the witness has since died and physical evidence has been destroyed.

A federal judge Tuesday called the handling of the case "shameful" and vacated the conviction.
Collins was freed Wednesday. He said he wants to go to law school and defend people without legal representation.