What is spending 26 years of your life imprisoned for something you didn’t do worth?
If you’re like Dewey Bozella, the amount is $7.5 million. Obviously nothing will be able to replace the decades he lost behind bars, or repair the anguish done to his friends and loved ones, but being able to comfortably live the rest of his life now with his family is at least a step in the right direction.
Bozella initially asked for $25 million, but agreed to settle for just under a third of that amount. Dutchess County paid Bozella in one lump sum, and agreed to pay back the loan they were required to take in 5 yearly installments of roughly $1.6 million each.
While things are looking up for Bozella, finance experts in Dutchess County are sweating. Paying out 7.5m to Bozella means they have to eat 9.5m in costs. There’s over $500k in interest fees for the money being borrowed, as well as nearly $1.5m in legal fees and other expenses.
Bozella’s case initially began to unravel when it was discovered that the prosecution had intentionally withheld exculpating evidence, which lead to Bozella being imprisoned. Bozella ended up being retried, and his case was overturned. He was released, and began working on a lawsuit against the county for wrongful imprisonment.
Dutchess County learned the hard way how expensive shoddy police and legal work can be, but that price is nothing compared to an innocent man rotting in a prison cell for a quarter of their life.