Throughout the United States, not everyone agrees about what should be done with wrongfully convicted individuals once they are released from prison. In some states, it is immensely difficult to receive any kind of recompense, and individuals are merely thrown back out to the streets with barely a “whoops.”
Thankfully that was not the case for 2 wrongfully convicted individuals in Nassau County who were recently awarded $18 million each for having spent 18 years of their lives being punished for a crime they didn’t commit.
The crime in question relates to the rape and murder of a 16-year-old girl back in the 80s. Three men, including the 2 who were awarded $18 million, were arrested in connection with the crime. In 2003, when DNA evidence surfaced surrounding the case, the charges against the 3 men were dismissed. The real suspect in the case was never found.
The conviction for the 3 men initially came about by evidence being planted against them, with one particular county detective planting hairs in one suspect’s van and hiding evidence which might have prevented a conviction in the first place.
An $18 million conviction is relatively unheard of when it comes to wrongful conviction cases, but as the 2 men’s attorney, Nick Brustin, states: “Today, a jury finally acknowledged what the county never has – that its own officers’ intentional misconduct robbed these innocent men of eighteen years of their lives.”
The 3rd man involved in this case is currently appealing his wrongful conviction case.