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Judge nixes $18.5 million award for Alan Newton, man jailed for 22 years for rape he

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  • Judge nixes $18.5 million award for Alan Newton, man jailed for 22 years for rape he

    He does deserve some compensation for serving time for a crime he didn't commit since he lost pretty much most of his young adult life that he won't get back.

    A Manhattan Federal Court judge Thursday tossed out an $18.5 million award for Alan Newton, the Brooklyn man who spent 22 years in prison for a rape he didn't commit.

    Judge Shira Scheindlin ruled that Newton deserved no cash because the city did not intentionally violate his civil rights, officials said.

    "This was a complicated and hard-fought case," said Michael Cardozo, corporation counsel for the City Law Department. "The city's potential liability was very substantial. Nevertheless, we felt strongly that the city was not liable, and are pleased that the Court agreed with our position."

    Newton's lawyer, who has vowed to appeal, called the decision "shocking."

    "The Police Department had the evidence in their possession during the 12 years he repeatedly requested it, and they didn't produce it," said lawyer John Schutty. "This was not an instance of simple negligence."

    Newton was a 22-year-old telephone company sales trainee when he was charged with raping a woman in an abandoned Bronx building and slicing her face with a razor in 1984.

    The victim, who has since died, picked him out of a lineup and testified at his trial.

    Newton was convicted of rape, robbery and assault charges and got 13 to 40 years.

    He was denied parole three times and authorities stonewalled his campaign to clear his name, claiming the victim's rape kit had vanished.

    After prodding from the Innocence Project, the DNA evidence - useless in 1984 but now crucial because of technological advances - was found at a Queens warehouse in 2005.

    Newton was exonerated the next year. Last October, a jury awarded him $18.5 million.



    Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/...#ixzz1MBrYtoEE
    Life is what you make of it

  • #2
    Judge Shira Scheindlin and Michael Cardozo shouldn't have a job working for the city if that's how they feel about locking up an innocent man for 22 years.
    Been chatting to a girl online. She's funny, sexy and flirty. Now she tells me she is an undercover cop! How cool is that at her age!?

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    • #3
      I wonder if the judge is related to Judge "Judy" Sheindlin....HAS TO BE!!
      "We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm" -George Orwell

      "It's 106 miles to Chicago, we've got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark, and we're wearing diapers." - Blues Brothers

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      • #4
        I think the award was high, but I also think the city should pay him something for his loss. say 100,000 a year for 22 years. On the other hand,if they intentionally "lost" the evidence, those responsible should be found, fined, and incarcerated.
        Though their numbers are many, as the grass upon the field, we will count them at the end of the day.

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        • #5
          How do you put any value (and state that X is too high) when someone lost 22 years of their life and carried the stigma of a rapist. I don't think there is an amount high enough to compensate for what this man lost.
          sigpic

          I don't agree with your opinion, but I respect its straightforwardness in terms of wrongness.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by kingsman View Post
            I think the award was high, but I also think the city should pay him something for his loss. say 100,000 a year for 22 years. On the other hand,if they intentionally "lost" the evidence, those responsible should be found, fined, and incarcerated.
            And that's probably why the jury awarded so much. It certainly sounds like this is another one of these cases where the prosecutors are more interested in convictions than guilt.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Exodus259
              I don't blame them so much. It's getting ridiculous that everyone these days that are involved with anything police related, want some type of huge settlement. He violated my rights, give me 15 million, he illegally held me because he thought I was the criminal, give me 20 million, etc. Where do these people get these amounts from?? I've been through embarrassment and humiliation before too, but I didn't expect a monstrous paycheck out of it?? It really is no wonder why these State and Counties are running into budget issues and why no one has any money. These huge payouts need to stop at some point.
              If you lost 22 years of your young life living in one of the worst kinds of places a person can live in you would expect a huge settlement too. The best way to avoid these is to investigate each crime carefully and throughly to avoid having to pay an innocent person huge sums of money down the road.
              Life is what you make of it

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Smurfette_76 View Post
                How do you put any value (and state that X is too high) when someone lost 22 years of their life and carried the stigma of a rapist. I don't think there is an amount high enough to compensate for what this man lost.
                +1

                If you think about the years he lost I think most would agree that is the meat and potatoes of adult life. The ages when most would marry and have children. I can't imagine losing that part of my life.....

                I'm no expert on what amount he should receive but he definitely deserves compensation.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Exodus259
                  I don't blame them so much. It's getting ridiculous that everyone these days that are involved with anything police related, want some type of huge settlement. He violated my rights, give me 15 million, he illegally held me because he thought I was the criminal, give me 20 million, etc. Where do these people get these amounts from?? I've been through embarrassment and humiliation before too, but I didn't expect a monstrous paycheck out of it?? It really is no wonder why these State and Counties are running into budget issues and why no one has any money. These huge payouts need to stop at some point.
                  Are you serious right now? We're not talking about someone that is asking for millions because they were illegally detained for a while. This guy lost 22 YEARS of his life for something he didn't do. Like smurf said, how can you even begin to put a monetary value on that? What is 22 years of your life worth to you?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Exodus259
                    I can understand losing a lot of time, but what is 18 million dollars going to do to change that? All that will do is put the state/county into more debt in the long run. I can understand taking some type of a settlement, but 18 million dollars? Doesn't the old saying go "money can't buy happiness"?
                    Don't be naive. We both know it sure as hell helps.....

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                    • #11
                      Not to muddy the waters too much, but just to make sure everybody is on the same page. He was found guilty by a jury of his peers in 1985 and sentenced to prison. In 1994 he began asking for DNA testing and the COURT denied his appeal based on being told the evidence was lost. In 2005 the evidence was finally located after many requests for it.

                      He should absolutely be compensated for the 11 years he was held in prison when the evidence was not lost and was in the evidence locker. The first 11 years was a flawed but legal conviction that the police department/district attorney/courts were not responsible for as the jury convicted him. Whoever was responsible for the evidence and appeals processes should be held accountable and this man should be compensated.

                      And to put it in perspective based on California law says those wrongfully convicted can be awarded up to $100 a day for every day of incarceration. There was an article a while back where someone wrongfully convicted received about $750,000 for 23 years. Since Newtons case is about the evidence not being produced when requested I would think he would be eligible for much more based on negligence.
                      Last edited by Fuzz; 05-13-2011, 04:10 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Exodus259
                        I can understand losing a lot of time, but what is 18 million dollars going to do to change that? All that will do is put the state/county into more debt in the long run. I can understand taking some type of a settlement, but 18 million dollars? Doesn't the old saying go "money can't buy happiness"?

                        Well with 18 million dollars I can sure try to catch up or make up for lost time. If that can't be done then I would want the morons who lost or withheld evidence to be fired and stripped of their pension if already retired. What compensation for this man would you offer?
                        Life is what you make of it

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                        • #13
                          Honestly I'm still in my mid 20's. I could not imagine being locked up till I was in my late 40's for a crime I didn't commit. This guy got shafted and deserves compensation for the time of freedom he lost. Who's to say that he wouldn't have become a millionare on his own had he not been locked up?
                          "I'm sorry, did you see my care face? Because I'm pretty sure I didn't show it to you becuase I DON'T care. Have a nice day. "

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                          • #14
                            I don't really have a problem with the 18 million either. Whether or not the city did anything wrong, he still needs to be compensated by society and I don't think 18 million is unreasonable.

                            As for the rape kit, I don't think the city intentionally lost it. Up until a few years ago, most larger city property rooms were an absolute mess (quite often, stuff was just thrown into piles) with the rooms being chronically understaffed and the employees underpaid. Only recently have PDs started to correct those problems (and even then, not all cities). So I don't think it is a stretch that the kit was lost or misplaced. Especially after a trial.
                            Last edited by Dingo990; 05-13-2011, 07:16 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Exodus259
                              I think the ideas you mentioned are pretty good. Hold those accountable for their error. I can understand a settlement, but not in the 18 million range. Honestly, if any one of us had at least ONE million, we would be content and be able to do lots. Even if the guy was just given that, it is something. It wouldn't be something that would place the county/state under years worth of duress either. I can definitely see doing something to those that caused this whole issue in the first place.
                              They screwed up, they pay for it.
                              Been chatting to a girl online. She's funny, sexy and flirty. Now she tells me she is an undercover cop! How cool is that at her age!?

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