Massachusetts Judge Overturns Murder Conviction, Citing ‘Racial Animus’ in Prosecutors’ Emails

With that motion, Ms. Choy was officially exonerated and freed after 17 years in detention, according to her lawyers, John J. Barter and Sharon Beckman, a professor at Boston College Law School and director of the Boston College Innocence Program.

In a statement, Ms. Choy, 34, thanked her lawyers, her family and her friends “for always believing in my innocence.”

“It has been a tough and long journey, but their support helped me stay strong and never give up hope,” she said. “Nothing can erase the pain of losing my parents and how they suffered. I miss them every day. Even in prison I tried to live my life in a way that honored them. I’m relieved that the truth has been revealed and to have my life back beyond prison walls.”

Mr. Cruz said that after reviewing the case, including the discriminatory emails, the ineffective representation provided by Ms. Choy’s trial lawyer and other misconduct by prosecutors, “we believed it was fair to agree to vacate the conviction.”

“We hope that this case is an example for our community of how we handle misconduct,” he said. “We always choose right over wrong, fairness over bias, and justice over injustice.”

At the time the emails were discovered, Mr. Cruz said, neither of the prosecutors worked for him. One of the prosecutors, John Bradley, was fired in 2013, he said, and the other, Karen O’Sullivan, left voluntarily.

“Immediately after we became aware of the inappropriate emails, we hired an independent investigative firm, Guidepost Solutions, LLC, to conduct a detailed review of over 380,000 emails and attachments issued and received by our staff over an approximately 11-year period,” he said.

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