Perlmutter Center for Legal Justice at

Cardozo Law Client Frans Sital,

Serving 51 1/3 Years, Re-Sentenced and

Becomes Eligible for Parole

The Perlmutter Center for Legal Justice at Cardozo Law (PCLJ) is pleased to announce that its client Frans Sital, who has served over 30 years in prison, had his sentence reduced today in Brooklyn, allowing him to apply for parole immediately. Frans Sital was only 17 years old when he was arrested and convicted of murder. Although he has strong innocence claims, he was nevertheless sentenced to 51 and 1/3 years in prison.  

In a hearing on Friday, May 26, 2023, in Brooklyn Supreme Court before Judge Matthew D'Emic, District Attorney Eric Gonzalez consented to a sentence reduction for Mr. Sital to 25 years to life.

Mr. Sital will now be able to go before the New York State Parole Board to request that he be released for time served.

Mr. Sital's sentence, 51 1/3 years in prison, was a de facto life sentence. He is now 49 years old but was just 17 at the time of his sentencing. If not for the consent to reduce his sentence, Mr. Sital would have first seen the parole board a month before his 69th birthday. 

According to a legal filing on behalf of Frans Sital seeking a sentence reduction, "Mr. Sital is well deserving of that second look. The numerous letters and emails attached to this motion show that he has become a different person. He has educated himself and prepared for employment. He has helped educate and assist other inmates through programs like Exodus Transitional Services and CPPM. He has become a loving and supportive brother and son, acting as a role model and mainstay to his family, even from prison. He has become a leader rather than a follower, and those who know him attest to his growth and maturity. He is exactly the kind of adolescent offender who merits the protection of the Constitutions of the United States and of this State."

Frans Sital, center, surrounded by friends, family, and supporters today in court after his re-sentencing.

The Perlmutter Center for Legal Justice wishes to thank Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, and Jill Harris, Chief Policy Director for their decision to consent to the sentence modification for Frans Sital. Special thanks to Mr. Sital's attorneys, David Crow, Nancy Ginzberg, Jonathan Edelstein, and Robert Grossman.

Frans's mother, Grace Sital, said, "I am so happy that my son Frans will hopefully be paroled and free to come home after 30 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Words cannot describe what these 30 years have been like waiting for this day. Thanks to the Perlmutter Center for Justice, Derrick Hamilton, and Josh Dubin for standing beside me to fight for Frans' freedom. Thanks to Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez and his staff for agreeing to recommend the sentence modification so Frans will be eligible for parole. I have waited a very long time for my son to come home. Godspeed."

Josh Dubin, Executive Director of the Perlmutter Center, said, "We are really thrilled that the Brooklyn DA has consented to reduce Frans Sital's sentence. He was just a boy when he was arrested and convicted of murder, a crime he is innocent of. His mother, Grace, spent all these decades fighting for her son's freedom, joining others who worked tirelessly to help Frans Sital gain his freedom."

Deputy Director Derrick Hamilton said, "It was heartbreaking to know that a young man was serving essentially a life without parole sentence for a crime he likely did not commit. At the same time, it was inspiring to all of us at the Perlmutter Center to join Frans' mom, Grace, in her struggle to bring attention to her son's plight and fight endlessly for his freedom. We are so pleased to have played a part in his quest for freedom, and hopefully, with the Brooklyn DA's consent to reduce Frans' sentence, he soon be granted parole."

About the Perlmutter Center for Legal Justice at Cardozo Law

The Perlmutter Center for Legal Justice at Cardozo Law is a multifaceted center established through a generous donation from The Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Foundation. The Perlmutters' philanthropy is focused on one clear and powerful goal: helping others.

The Perlmutter Center for Legal Justice has two components: a student field clinic called The Perlmutter Freedom Clinic at Cardozo Law, which focuses on fighting wrongful convictions based on the misuse of scientific evidence and work to obtain clemency for individuals unjustly incarcerated. 

Two fierce advocates are leading our efforts. At the helm, we have Executive Director Josh Dubin, one of the nation's preeminent civil rights attorneys and legal strategy consultants. Serving as Deputy Director is legal strategist and paralegal Derrick Hamilton, who was falsely imprisoned for over 20 years and won his own exoneration while helping fellow inmates with their cases.