Orange County

State attorney’s Conviction Integrity Unit overturns first wrongful conviction

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Orange-Osceola state attorney’s Conviction Integrity Unit says that it has overturned its first wrongful conviction.

The case against Dwayne Brown, who was days away from being deported because of a previous criminal conviction, was thrown out after the unit stepped in and filed a motion on his behalf.

Brown came to the United States from Jamaica as a teenager in 1993.

A few years later, he was charged with marijuana possession after officers found three grams of it where he worked.

Brown completed two years of probation and did his required community service.

In 2015, Brown was stopped and detained by immigration officials while coming home from a trip to Jamaica.

Green card holders with a criminal history can be put into a deportation process upon attempting to reenter the United States.

He had no idea about this so he hired a lawyer. The lawyer worked on Brown’s case for five years.

The lawyer then reached out to the State Attorney’s Office.

The office was in process of forming a conviction integrity unit that would reinvestigate questionable convictions.

Armais Ayala’s team reviewed the case and found several significant problems with Brown’s plea and conviction.

After a circuit court judge issued an order vacating Brown’s criminal case, his immigration attorney was able to prove in federal court that Brown was no longer deportable, which allowed him to stay in the United States and put him on a path to gain citizenship.

Katlyn Brieskorn,

Katlyn Brieskorn is a Digital Assignment Editor at WFTV. She joined Channel 9 in July 2019.