Martin Tankleff (NYLJ/Rick Kopstein)
Martin Tankleff, a Long Island man who was wrongfully convicted of killing his parents and who graduated from Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center after being freed from prison, has donated $25,000 to the school to establish the Martin and Laurie Tankleff Scholarship.
The funds will be awarded annually to students interested in appealing convictions and pursuing criminal defense work.
Tankleff, 42, was 17 years old when he was arrested in 1988 for the murders of his parents. He was convicted two years later by Suffolk County prosecutors but maintained that his confession was coerced. The Appellate Division, Second Department, vacated the conviction in 2007 and ordered a new trial. A year later, the state Attorney General’s office determined that it had insufficient evidence to retry the case.
Tankleff went to Touro Law in 2010 and graduated this spring with a criminal law concentration. He received a $3.3 million settlement from the state this year.
In a statement, the school’s dean, Patricia Salkin, said Tankleff “was an active student and continues to be an important member of the Touro Law community. Martin and his wife Laurie’s decision to continue to invest in our law school and our students is greatly appreciated and we are thankful for their generosity.”
The first award will be made prior to the 2014-2015 academic year.