From Appeal To Release on Bail to the
July 2, 2009 Denial of the Ocean County Prosecutor's
Motion for Reconsideration: News Reports

Here are links to print, electronic and Web news about Paul's case:oral arguments on April 16th before The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit; the federal appeals Court's May 28, 2009 decision issuing a writ of habeas corpus; the Third Circuit's order to release Paul on bail; the Newark Federal District Court's June 15th bail order; Paul's June 16, 2009 release from South Woods State Prison on bail pending review; and now the Circuit Court's July 2, 2009 rejection of the Ocean County Prosecutor's motion for reconsideration.

The original news release from the Law Firm of Timothy J. McInnis, Esq. announcing the Third Circuit's habeas decision and the July 3rd News Advisory announcing the Third Circuit's denial of the Ocean County Prosecutor's motion for reconsideration are also posted.

Star-Ledger

July 4, 2009

Appeals court rules case of
Ocean County man exonerated in 1983
murders will not be reheard

Paul Kamienski couldn't figure out what the vibrating on the cell phone meant.

When he went to a sports store for the first time in more than two decades, he was stunned to look at the wall and see more than 200 styles of sneakers.

Routine tasks that people take for granted are brand new to Kamienski, who on June 16 was freed after spending more than 20 years behind bars for the 1983 murders of a Florida couple that he said he didn't commit. In May, Kamienski's 1988 conviction was reversed after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit determined jurors could not have found him guilty based on evidence presented at the trial.

Read this Star-Ledger report

Asbury Park Press

July 4,2009

Ruling on overturning
double murder conviction reaffirmed

PHILADELPHIA — The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has rejected the Ocean County prosecutor's request that it reconsider the ruling overturning the double homicide conviction of Paul Kamienski.

Read this Asbury Park Press report

The Law Firm of
Timothy J. McInnis, Esq.

News Advisory

July 3,2009

Federal Appeals Court Denies
Ocean County, New Jersey Prosecutor; Rejects Motion
To Rehear Homicide Case The Court Overturned

PHILADELPHIA — In a one-word decision, "DENIED," The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit yesterday rejected the Ocean County, New Jersey, Prosecutor’s reconsideration request of the Court’s May 28 decision overturning the double homicide conviction of New Jersey businessman Paul Kamienski.

Read this News Advisory from
The Law Firm of Timothy J. McInnis, Esq.

Associated Press

July 4, 2009

Ruling that overturned
NJ murder conviction stands

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A federal appeals court will not reconsider its ruling that overturned a murder conviction.

In a decision announced Thursday, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said it would deny the request made by the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office in New Jersey.

Read this Associated Press brief

(Editor's Note: Since this page was hosted via Google News it may not be available for a long period of time.)

New Jersey
Law Journal

June 16, 2009

Murder Convict Freed on Rare Habeas
Based on Insufficient Trial Evidence

Front page of the New Jersey Law Journal, June 22, 2009 reporting Paul Kamienski's habeas

"An inmate whose lawyer defied the odds and won a habeas corpus petition walked to freedom from a New Jersey prison Tuesday after serving 11 years for two murders he insisted he didn't commit.

Authorities at South Woods State Prison released Paul Kamienski, 61, on a $1 million personal recognizance bond pending a state appeal of a Third U.S. Circuit of Appeals reversal of his convictions on grounds of insufficient evidence.

At the time of the May 26 appellate ruling, Kamienski was facing 19 more years in prison before becoming eligible for parole on his life sentence for taking part in the murder of a Newark couple during a drug deal gone bad."

(Editor's Note: This article by Henry Gottlieb is available only to subscribers of the New Jersey Law Journal.)

Associated Press

June 16, 2009

NJ man freed after
murder convictions overturned

BRIDGETON, N.J. (AP) — After spending more than 20 years in prison for two murders he repeatedly denied committing, Paul Kamienski spoke Tuesday as a man freed under unusual circumstances.

Last month, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia overturned his 1988 convictions and double life sentence in the murders of a Florida couple in 1983 in what prosecutors described as a drug deal gone bad. The court wrote that the evidence presented at trial was not sufficient to warrant a verdict of guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Read this Associated Press
Report by David Porter

(Editor's Note: Since this page was hosted via Google News it may not be available for a long period of time.)

Asbury Park Press

June 17, 2009

Excerpts from ruling
that freed Kamienski

The release of Paul Kamienski from state prison Tuesday comes after a lengthy legal process that ended with a three-judge appeal court panel pointing fingers at the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office and New Jersey courts.

The 27-page opinion, written by Judge Theodore A. McKee of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, concluded there was sufficient evidence for a jury to conclude Kamienski had set up a 1983 drug deal and had helped to dispose of the two victims' bodies after they were murdered

Read the Asbury Park Press
sidebar by Charles Webster

Associated Press

June 15, 2009

NJ man to be freed after
'88 convictions reversed

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A federal judge on Monday ordered the release of a New Jersey man who has been imprisoned for more than two decades on a double-murder conviction.

U.S. District Judge Stanley Chesler signed an order releasing 61-year-old Paul Kamienski from South Woods State Prison in Bridgeton, Cumberland County, on a $1 million personal recognizance bond. Kamienski's attorneys said he will be transferred to the Ocean County Jail and released Tuesday. Prosecutors are seeking to have his sentence reinstated.

... Kamienski had exhausted his appeals at the state level, but the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia overturned Kamienski's double life sentences last month, ruling that the evidence was not sufficient to support a jury finding of guilty.

Read this Associated Press
Report by David Porter

(Editor's Note: Since this page was hosted via Google News it may not be available for a long period of time.)

Star-Ledger

June 15, 2009

Judge orders release
of former Ocean County man
after murder conviction overturned

NEWARK -- During his two decades behind bars, Paul J. Kamienski's once-wavy blond hair turned gray. His mother died. And the appeal of his double-murder conviction inched up and down the ladder of justice.

Tuesday, the 61-year-old is expected to be released following a federal appeals panel decision saying the case against him lacked evidence. His release marks a rare instance of a federal appeals panel overturning a state murder conviction in New Jersey.

"There are thousands of these petitions that are filed every year, and very few are granted," said his lawyer, Timothy McInnis.

Photo by Amanda Brown/The Star-Ledger: Timothy J. McInnis, attorney for Paul Kamienski, leaves Federal Court today in Newark.

Read this Star-Ledger report
by Federal Courthouse Reporter Joe Ryan

Associated Press

June 16, 2009

5PM

NJ man freed after
murder convictions overturned

BRIDGETON, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey man who spent more than 20 years in prison before his murder convictions were overturned says he wants some good to come from his ordeal.

Paul Kamienski was driven out of South Woods State Prison in Cumberland County on Tuesday afternoon in a white van and dropped off across the street to meet his attorney, Timothy McInnis.

Wearing a white shirt and blue jeans, the 61-year-old Kamienski said he was grateful for the support he received from people who believed he was innocent.

Kamienski was convicted in 1988 of taking part in the murders of a Florida couple during a drug deal in 1983.

Editor's Note: This Associated Press brief moved right after Paul was released from a N.J. Department of Corrections Van on a side street near South Woods State Prison.

Asbury Park Press

June 16, 2009

Man convicted in double murder
free (for now) after 20 years

BRIDGETON — Paul Kamienski rode away from South Woods State Prison a free man on Tuesday, 20 years after he was found guilty of being an accomplice in a double murder in Toms River.

Kamienski was ordered to serve two life sentences for his role in the 1983 killings of a Florida couple during the sale of three kilograms of cocaine. A federal appeals court tossed his conviction last month, however, saying prosecutors failed to prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Met by his attorney and a small crowd of media, Kamienski stepped out of a Department of Corrections minivan wearing a white collared shirt and blue jeans and into the waiting embrace of his attorney Timothy J. McInnis, who successfully argued for his release after years of appeals.

"It's hard to put into words," Kamienski said.

Read this Asbury Park Press
report by Matt Pais

 

Video of Paul's Release

Paul Kamienski is released from South Woods State Prison.

Paul Kamienski is released from South Woods State Prison.

Moments after his release from South Woods State Prison Paul Kamienski is interviewed by the media. New York City-based Attorney Timothy J. McInnis, Esq., who has represented Paul for a decade listens on the right. (Video courtesy of the Asbury Park Press and app.com).


Still Photos of Paul's Release

A video slide show of images taken at Paul's release also appears on the Asbury Park Press Web site.

(Video and photos of Paul's release by Tim Costello.)

Philadelphia Inquirer

June 15, 2009

NJ man to be freed
after '87 convictions reversed

NEWARK, N.J. - A federal judge in Newark has cleared the way for a man convicted of murder more than 20 years ago to be freed from prison.

Read this Associated Press brief
via the Philadelphia Inquirer

Star-Ledger

June 16, 2009

12:34 PM

Former Ocean County man nears release
from prison after 22 years

TOMS RIVER -- Final preparations are being made for the release of a New Jersey man whose murder convictions were overturned after he spent more than 20 years in prison.

Paul Kamienski today was awaiting his release from state prison in Cumberland County.

(Photo Courtesy of Richard Lavinthal: A 2009 photo of Paul Kamienski.)

Read this Associated Press
brief via NJ.com

North Jersey Examiner

June 15, 2009

BREAKING: Wrongfully convicted Jersey
playboy officially freed

A federal judge in Newark officially set the terms of Paul Kamienski's release today, freeing the former Garfield businessman on bond after he spent more than 20 years in prison for two drug-related murders he didn't commit.

U.S. District Court Judge Stanley Chesler signed the order today at the direction of three U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals judges who overturned the murder convictions earlier this month, saying the evidence didn't support the verdicts.

Read this North Jersey
Crime Examiner report

Associated Press

June 15, 2009

NJ man to be freed after
'88 convictions reversed

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A federal judge in Newark, N.J., has cleared the way for a man convicted of two murders more than two decades ago to be freed from prison.

Paul Kamienski's 1988 double-murder conviction for his role in the killing of a man and his wife during a drug deal was reversed last month. A federal appeals court panel ruled the evidence wasn't enough to prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Read this Associated Press brief

 

New Jersey
Law Journal
&
Law.com

June 2, 2009

In Rare Habeas Grant
3rd Circuit Finds Evidence
of Murder Insufficient

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday granted a writ of habeas corpus to a New Jersey man who has been in prison for more than two decades on a conviction of murder by association.

The three-judge panel that ordered the writ criticized a New Jersey state appeals court for not recognizing an obvious lack of credible evidence against Paul Kamienski, 61, now serving a life sentence for his alleged participation in the 1983 shooting deaths of a Florida couple with whom he was brokering a cocaine deal.

"Based upon our careful review of the record, and despite the very deferential standard that limits our inquiry, we believe that no reasonable juror could conclude that the evidence admitted against Kamienski at his trial established that he was guilty of murder or felony murder beyond a reasonable doubt, and the New Jersey courts' conclusion to the contrary is an unreasonable application of clearly established Supreme Court precedent," Judge Theodore McKee wrote in Kamienski v. Hendricks, 06-4536.

Read the New Jersey Law Journal
article by Michael Booth

(Editors Note: This report was sent to tens of thousands of attorneys across the U.S. and others interested in legal issues via the law.com Daily NewsWire)

Asbury Park Press

May 28, 2009

 

Appeals court throws out conviction
in 1983 Toms River murders

PHILADELPHIA — In a rare move, a panel of federal appellate judges on Thursday reversed the convictions of a Garfield man for the 1983 murders of a Florida couple in Toms River, potentially clearing the way for his freedom after decades of imprisonment.

A trio of three judges with the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office had not proved beyond a reasonable doubt at a trial in 1988 that Paul Kamienski, now 61, was guilty of murder as an accomplice or of the felony murders of Barbara and Henry Nicholas DeTournay of North Miami Beach, Fla.

The state cannot retry Kamienski for the crimes because that would violate the
constitutional protection against double jeopardy, Kamienski's New York defense attorney, Timothy J. McInnis, said.

"An innocent man is going to be released," said McInnis, who has been working on gaining Kamienski's freedom for the past 10 years.

Read the Asbury Park Press
report by Kathleen Hopkins

Associated Press

May 28, 2009

Judges overturn NJ
murder conviction from 1987

PHILADELPHIA - A federal appeals court has taken the unusual step of overturning a murder conviction handed down by a jury in a state court.

Paul Kamienski was one of three men convicted in 1987 of the 1983 murder of Nick and Barbara DeTournay during a drug deal in Toms River, N.J.

A three-member panel of the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia ruled unanimously Thursday that there was not enough evidence at the trial to convict Kamienski of murder.

(Editor's Note: This Associated Press brief via the Philadelphia Inquirer is no longer available online.)

North Jersey Crime Examiner

May 28, 2009

U.S. appeals judges open way
for Jersey playboy's freedom

A federal appeals court has overturned a conviction against a New Jersey playboy in connection with the murders of a Florida couple decades ago during a drug deal gone bad.

In doing so, the panel issued stern rebukes to both the Ocean County prosecutor who tried the case and fellow judges who kept Paul Kamienski (left) behind bars.

Kamienski's conviction was based on nothing more than "rank speculation" that he knew what he'd gotten into when he introduced the victims to their eventual killers, the U.S. Third Circuit of Appeals in Philadelphia wrote.

To convict him of felony murder, "the state had to produce sufficient evidence to allow a reasonable juror to conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that he knowingly participated or aided in the commission of a robbery," which it didn't, the judges said.

Their unprecedented decision moves Kamienski another step closer to freedom after more than 20 years behind bars for a crime he has long insisted he didn't commit.

It's also a victory for attorney Timothy J. McInnis, who has fought for 10 years to secure his client's release.

Read the North Jersey Crime
Examiner Article by Jerry DeMarco

Star-Ledger

May 28, 2009

A former Lavallette man who says he was
wrongly convicted of murder 22 years ago
is getting a rare chance at freedom after a federal appeals court today overturned
an Ocean County jury's verdict

Paul Kamienski, 61, is serving two life sentences for the 1983 murder of a Florida couple, a crime he contends he did not commit. Two other men were also convicted in the drug-related killings.

After exhausting all his appeals on the state level, Kamienski took his case to U.S. District Court and was again rejected. But, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia, which heard his case in April, said the jury did not have enough evidence to convict him.

"Based upon our careful review of the record, and despite the very deferential standard that limits our inquiry, we believe that no reasonable juror could conclude that the evidence admitted against Kamienski at his trial established that he was guilty of murder or felony murder beyond a reasonable doubt, and the New Jersey courts' conclusion to the contrary is an unreasonable application of clearly established Supreme Court precedent," the court wrote in its unpublished opinion.

Read the Star-Ledger report by MaryAnn Spoto

The Law Firm
of Timothy J. McInnis, Esq.

News Release

May 29, 2009

Federal Appeals Court Orders Rare
Writ of Habeas Corpus For Businessman
Unjustly Convicted By Ocean County New Jersey Prosecutor In Connection With A 1983
Jersey Seashore Double Homicide

No Evidence Ever Was Produced That Paul Kamienski,
Who Has Been Imprisoned For 20 Years,
Had Any Role In The Murders Or Knowledge
They Would Be Committed, Third Circuit
Rules Unanimously In Stern Rebuke To Prosecutor
And New Jersey Appellate Court

Philadelphia, PA - Saying that "rank speculation" and "misleading" recitations from the trial transcript by the Ocean County New Jersey Prosecutor's Office not evidence beyond a reasonable doubt helped unjustly convict a yacht-owning North Jersey businessman of murder for an alleged role in a highly publicized 1983 Jersey shore double homicide, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has ordered a writ of habeas corpus for Paul Kamienski who has been imprisoned since 1989 under a 30-years-to-life sentence, Attorney Timothy J. McInnis announced.

McInnis, who has represented Kamienski for a decade, hailed yesterday's victory as the first habeas of its kind in the Circuit, made even more rare since the imposition of tough new federal appeal standards requiring deference to be given to state courts under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act ("AEDPA") which was passed five years before the 911 attacks.

Read the complete News Release
from the Law Firm of Timothy J. McInnis, Esq.

North Jersey Crime Examiner

April 16, 2009

Appeals panel holds Jersey
playboy's last shot at freedom

Locked up more than 20 years for a crime he says he didn't commit, a North Jersey businessman convicted in a 1983 double murder could be freed by a federal appeals court.

This morning, a defense attorney detailed six instances of prosecutorial misconduct that he said were deliberately concocted to keep Paul Kamienski behind bars despite his innocence.

Kamienski, a well-known businessman who grew up in Passaic before moving to Garfield, was convicted in Nov. 1988 as an accomplice in the Jersey Shore slayings of a Florida couple during a major cocaine deal gone bad.

However, the judge in the trial dismissed the murder conviction, saying the prosecutors produced no justifiable evidence of his participation. Kamienski still went to prison after the judge let a conviction stand against him for allegedly bringing the victims and killers together.

Read the North Jersey Crime
Examiner report by Jerry DeMarco

Asbury Park Press

April 17, 2009

One-time playboy
hopes sentence is reversed

More than a quarter-century ago, Paul Kamienski at age 35 had what prosecutors portrayed as the life of a reckless playboy — staying on his boat off the Jersey Shore, partying into the wee hours with his girlfriend and sleeping until the afternoon.

Now, at almost age 61 — his birthday is Saturday — Kamienski's life is vastly different. New York defense attorney Timothy J. McInnis told a panel of federal appeals judges on Thursday that Kamienski — whose family once owned a string of funeral homes in North Jersey — is now serving his 20th year of two life prison terms in what he described as "an injustice that shocks the conscience."

McInnis, arguing before a three-judge panel of the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, said officials with the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office, in their efforts to have Kamienski's convictions for murder and felony murder upheld by appellate courts, for years have perpetuated fabricated stories and misrepresented the record of Kamienski's 1988 trial in the case of the execution-style shootings of a Florida couple during a botched cocaine sale in Toms River in 1983.

"There is a terrible injustice that needs to be corrected," McInnis told Judges Theodore A. McKee, D. Brooks Smith and Franklin S. Van Antwerpen of the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals.

(Editor's Note: The Asbury Park Press report by Kathleen Hopkins is no longer linked at the publication's Web site.)

Star-Ledger

April 17, 2009

Convicted killer takes appeal
to federal court; Jersey man serving
two life terms for 1983 deaths
of Florida couple

When a judge in Ocean County tossed out two murder convictions against him 20 years ago, Paul Kamienski hoped that would put an end to prosecutors' allegations that he helped kill a Florida couple during a drug deal gone bad.

But the prosecution won a reinstatement of the convictions and Kamienski, now 61, sits in a Cumberland County prison serving two life terms for a crime he insists he did not commit.

Yesterday, in his last attempt at freedom, Kamienski took his case to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia, where his attorney contended the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office fabricated and distorted facts to keep the former North Jersey businessman behind bars.

"It's a terrible miscarriage of justice that he's serving two life sentences for a crime he did not commit," Kamienski's attorney, Timothy McInnis, said after the hearing. "When the truth is simple, the attempts to hide the truth has to be torturous and complex. That's what the state has done. They have created a morass of deception that has to be unraveled."

(Editor's Note: The Star-Ledger report by MaryAnn Spoto is no longer linked without charge from NJ.com. Read a truncated version or purchase the entire article.)