On Monday, the Ohio Controlling Board approved the Court of Claims request for settlement and awarded Raymond Towler $2.5 million from the state, reported the Cleveland Plain Dealer. After nearly three decades in prison for a rape he didn’t commit, Towler was exonerated in Cleveland in May 2010.
“You can’t make up for 30 years with any amount, but I plan to keep moving forward,” Towler said in an interview with the Columbus Dispatch. “I don’t want this money to change who I am or what I become. I was lucky to find a job when I got out and I’m not going to just run out on them.”
“I want to be smart with the money, but life is just too short to center my world around money,” Towler told the Dispatch. “Being out for a year has made me realize some of the things I missed for so long. But things happen for a reason and I have no hate for anyone.”
Towler was wrongfully convicted of raping and kidnapping a 12-year-old girl and 13-year-old boy 1981 and served 29 years of a life sentence before being released from prison.
“There’s a formula that the state uses to compensate for the state’s error, but you can’t put a price tag on the decades of his life he can’t get back,” Ohio Controlling Board member State Rep. Jay Hottinger said. “This is a way to make amends and officially apologize.”