Graduation Date

Fall 12-17-2021

Grading Professor

Tom Robbins

Subject Concentration

Urban Reporting

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Shortly after turning 17, Robert Webster was arrested for firebombing a drug witness’s home in Jamaica, Queens at the height of the crack epidemic in 1987. Convicted as a juvenile, he was sentenced 50-to-life for causing minor burns and property damage after the arson was linked, in the public eye, to the subsequent assassination of a young police officer.

Having maintained his innocence since the day of his arrest, Webster is now seeking clemency.

Deen_Photo_Webster.jpg (128 kB)
Robert Webster at Green Haven Correctional Facility in 2021.

Deen_dataviz_capstone.jpg (105 kB)
Chart of exonerations by race and ethnicity since 1989. Data from the National Registry of Exonerations. By Anna Deen.

VIDEO_Deen_Anna.mp4 (142369 kB)
Robert Webster's Clemency Video. Created by Anna Deen, Yessenia Moreno, and Jeff Winter through the clemency reporting project at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism. Video produced by Breona Couloote.



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