Judge Vacates Murder Conviction

01-18-01

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) - A judge on Thursday threw out the conviction of a man who served 30 years in prison for a 1965 underworld murder he said he didn't commit. 

Superior Court Judge Margaret Hinkle vacated the conviction of Joseph Salvati, 68, saying newly discovered evidence raised doubts about the conduct of the FBI and fairness of his trial. 

``The conduct of certain agents of the bureau ... stains the legacy of the FBI,'' Hinkle said. 

It was the second time Hinkle has thrown out conviction in the murder of Edward ``Teddy'' Deegan. Two weeks ago she vacated the conviction of Peter Limone, who also insisted he was innocent. 

Salvati and Limone, 66, were in a group of six men found guilty of Deegan's slaying. Salvati had his sentence commuted in 1997 and was released on parole, but he continued to fight to clear his name. 

Last month, Justice Department investigators probing corruption in the Boston FBI gave the two men's lawyers FBI informant reports written around the time of Deegan's murder. 

The reports show that informants told FBI agents of plans for the slaying beforehand and gave the agents a list of those involved. Neither Limone nor Salvati was on the list - nor were two of the other four men convicted. The other two died in prison. 

Hinkle said she wouldn't rule on the accuracy of the reports, but said they should have been disclosed at trial. 


 
 
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