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S6E2: The Story Behind Empire on Blood: Calvin Buari’s Trial by Ambush and Two Decades in Hell

Calvin Buari served 22 years for a double murder in the Bronx, even though someone else confessed to the crime. In the early 1990s, Calvin Buari was a well-known crack cocaine distributor in the Bronx, and authorities blamed him for a spasm of bloodshed there; the press reported that he practiced "black magic" and was a murderous thug. In 1992, a disgruntled drug associate who had recently shot Calvin implicated him in the murder of Elijah and Salhaddin Harris, who were parked when a gunman walked up and fired about a dozen rounds into their car. Calvin was charged with the double murder and six rival drug dealers testified against him at his 1995 murder trial. No physical evidence connected him to the crime. A jury took only two hours to convict Calvin of murder, and he was sentenced to 50 years to life in prison. He never stopped fighting for his freedom, and the case took a turn with a 2003 affidavit from the key witness against him, Dwight Robinson, who confessed to the crime, stating that he “pinned this double murder on Calvin Buari because of a dispute between Calvin and me, and because I wanted complete control of my drug spot.” Journalist Steve Fishman followed Calvin’s story for seven years and eyewitnesses, first interviewed by Fishman, testified in court in 2015 that Calvin was not the murderer. By May 2017, a judge overturned the conviction and ordered 46-year-old Calvin Buari freed. In this episode, Calvin is joined by Steve Fishman, who chronicles his journey for justice in the hit podcast Empire on Blood.


Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom is a production of Lava For Good™ Podcasts in association with Signal Co. No1 and PRX.

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