On September 29, 1956, 63-year-old gas station attendant Henry Allison was robbed of $260 in Brooklyn, New York. Two men in their early twenties, John Gilbert, a chauffer, and Carmine J. Gotti, a pants presser, neither of who had criminal records, were arrested after being identified by Allison.
Gilbert and Gotti were held in jail until their January 1957 trial. At the trial, Allison again identified the two men as the robbers. On January 25, 1957, Gilbert and Gotti were convicted. They faced maximum sentences of ten years in prison.
However, when the men returned to jail to await sentencing, they met John Mascia, who was in jail on robbery charges. During questioning by detectives, Mascia confessed to the robbery of Henry Allison and implicated an accomplice as well.
Based on Mascia’s confession, Gilbert and Gotti were released on bail on March 7, 1957, but Judge Carmine Marasco stated that he could not dismiss the charges against them until he was “satisfied in [his] heart and mind” regarding their innocence. On June 25, 1957, feeling fully convinced of the innocence of Gilbert and Gotti, Judge Marasco dismissed the charges against them.
- Meghan Barrett Cousino
The National Registry of Exonerations is a project of the Newkirk Center for Science & Society at University of California Irvine, the University of Michigan Law School and Michigan State University College of Law. It was founded in 2012 in conjunction with the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University School of Law. The Registry provides detailed information about every known exoneration in the United States since 1989—cases in which a person was wrongly convicted of a crime and later cleared of all the charges based on new evidence of innocence. The Registry also maintains a more limited database of known exonerations prior to 1989.
We welcome new information from any source about exonerations already on our list and about cases not in the Registry that might be exonerations.