By Marla Diamond

NEW YORK (AP / WCBS 880) — A jury has awarded $18.5 million to a New York City man who was exonerated four years ago after spending more than two decades in prison.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reports

Alan Newton was cleared by DNA evidence in 2006. He’d been sentenced in 1985 to up to 40 years in prison after being convicted of raping a woman in an abandoned building.

In awarding the money Tuesday, the federal jury ruled the city had violated Newton’s constitutional rights. It also found two police officers had failed to produce Newton’s evidence when requested.

The city said it will appeal the Manhattan jury’s decision.

Newton told The New York Times it’s something he’d been fighting for since he was freed in 2006.

His case has been supported by the nonprofit Innocence Project, which seeks to free convicts through DNA evidence.

(Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (9)
  1. valerie says:

    My question is, did they get the guy who actually committed the crime?

  2. Joe S says:

    And Bill…your absolutely right…heck forget $50 million he deserves $100 million. It was the taxpayers who voted the judge & the prosecutor in, hired the police officers, directly or indirectly and with taxpayer’s money put the man in jail too.

  3. Joe S says:

    Mr O’Donnell: You have the audacity to say “No one deserves a settlement of $18.5 million” Let me asked you this. If you were in this man’s shoes, and spent two decades behind bars for a “RAPE” conviction that you didn’t committ, how much would you ask for? You would go for the jugular also and if not more. Let’s be a little more sensative and compassionate, cause you really don’t know what this man went through while he was locked up under a “RAPE” conviction.

  4. Burhan says:

    I hope you forgive the evil doers that did this to you and pray and thank God for the wonderful free life and oppurtunity you got. I hope the modern day people need to realise that there is much to science after all πŸ™‚

    Bravo to the settlement and follow ups on the case. May the spirt of freeedom bless you all πŸ™‚

  5. John O'Donnell says:

    No one deserves a settlement of 18.5 million. Especially when the attorneys get 40%. It was a couple of bad cops, not the city of New York, or the taxpayers. Who do you think will pay for this. It is sad and he deserves to be compensated, but what is fair and who takes on the burden. Those officers are more than likely part of a union and will not even be disciplined.

    1. Bill Froelich says:

      You’re right, John, he does not deserve 18.5 million; 50 million would be more like it. The taxpayers rightfully pay because they are the ones who hired the cops, whether indirectly or not.

  6. Mike C. says:

    Amen Brother, I am so glad that the City of New York needs to pay you $18.5 Million….Go find a little Island somehwere and relax and drink a few Margaritas…The heck with the rest of Society, you don’t need anymore of that B.S.

  7. Patty says:

    I can’t even imagine the frustration of so many years lost behind bars. Although all the money cannot bring back his lost years, I hope it will heal his spirit.

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