Jabbar Collins, president of Horizon Research Services, was the guest speaker at Pillar College’s weekly Devotion on Tuesday, July 19th. In 1994 Collins was wrongfully convicted of murder in Brooklyn, NY. Sentenced to life in prison, Collins began his own study of appellate, civil, and post-conviction litigation. During his 16 years of imprisonment, he drafted scores of successful New York Freedom of Information lawsuits and was granted permission by two federal judges to orally argue cases on behalf of two prisoners he assisted. In 2010, Collins won his own freedom through a rare unconditional writ of habeas corpus petition that revealed egregious prosecutorial misconduct in his case, findings that led to his eventual release.
He then sued New York City and State, exposing systemic misconduct in the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, ultimately winning one of the highest settlements for a wrongful conviction in New York City history. Collins’ legal work in the years since his exoneration has resulted in five additional wrongfully-convicted men being freed after each had spent decades in prison. Collins’ own case history also prompted the late Ken Thompson’s successful run for Brooklyn District Attorney. As Brooklyn DA, Thompson went on to establish a Conviction Integrity Unit that, since 2014, has freed another 28 men who had been wrongfully convicted.
As president of Horizon Research Services, Jabbar Collins today directs a consulting firm that provides legal research and writing services to appellate and civil rights attorneys. Recently, Collins also finished his first semester as an adjunct professor at St. John’s Law School, where he co-teaches a course entitled: Justice Dissected: The Anatomy of a Wrongful Conviction.