On November 27, 1917, Morris Goldstein, a tailor in New Haven, Connecticut, was shot to death in a holdup. Four men were arrested in connection with the crime: Luigi Lanzillo (also referenced as Luigi Longello), his older brother Carmello Lanzillo, Frank Durso, and Carmine Pisenello. Durso, Pinsenello and Carmello Lanzillo were all convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death. Luigi Lanzillo was convicted of second-degree murder and given a life sentence because a gun that belonged to him was found near the murder scene. Luigi Lanzillo claimed that his brother had taken the revolver without his knowledge.
Shortly before their execution on June 17, 1918, Durso, Pinsenello and Carmello Lanzillo signed written confessions stating that Luigi Lanzillo did not have any involvement in the murder of Goldstein. However, it was not until ten years later, after pleas from concerned citizens, including attorneys for two of the three men executed for the crime, that Luigi Lanzillo was pardoned and released by the Board of Pardons at Wethersfield Prison.
– Researched by Alex Jarrell
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.