NYC Settles Suit With Wrongly Jailed Man for $6.4 MillionBy: Tina Volpe - February 20, 2014
It happens every day–people arrested for crimes they did not commit–and the system lets them down. The statistics are staggering on the number of wrongly imprisoned inmates. Statistics show that in the U.S. alone, over 10,000 people each year are wrongly imprisoned.
Truthfully, many want to believe that the goal of the justice system is to provide a fair trial, at least in the U.S., and to allow the system to judge right from wrong. But the legal system has failed many people. Whether evidence was concealed, or a person was framed, or even arrested by corrupted law enforcement, jailing someone who is innocent happens all too often.
What is most disturbing is when someone is wrongly imprisoned and spends years in prison. The appeals and court system sometimes goes awry, leaving innocent people to basically ‘rot in prison’.
It happened to David Ranta – a man who was framed by a rogue detective and served 23 years in prison for a murder he did not commit.
That man has sued the City of New York for this indiscretion and will receive a $6.4 million settlement that came before a civil rights lawsuit was even filed, lawyers involved in the case said on Thursday.
Ranta and his attorney filed a $150 million claim that was settled by the city comptroller’s office without ever involving the city’s legal department. The lawyers involved in the negotiations described it as a “groundbreaking” decision that acknowledged the overwhelming guilt on the part of the city.
The City’s quick acceptance of liability in the high-profile conviction is also extremely important, because a series of wrongful conviction claims are expected to follow, by men who were sent to prison due to the unfair and illegal work of the detective, Louis Scarcella. He has been accused of inventing confessions, coercing witnesses, and recycling informers.
“While no amount of money could ever compensate David for the 23 years that were taken away from him, this settlement allows him the stability to continue to put his life back together,” Mr. Ranta’s lawyer, Pierre Sussman, said. “We are now focusing our efforts on pursuing an unjust conviction claim with the State of New York.”
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