News 02.27.15

Innocence Project Client Closer to Receiving $18.5 Million Compensation

Alan Newton with Grammy-winning Recording Artist Esperanza Spalding

On Thursday, DNA-based exoneree Alan Newton—who was exonerated of rape in 2006—found out that he may receive $18.5 million from New York City after serving 21 years in prison for a wrongful conviction based on an eyewitness misidentification.



New York Daily News

reports that a federal appeals court has reinstated the $18.5 million award Newton was awarded in 2010.  For more than a decade when Newton was in prison, the city told him that evidence from his case could not be tested for DNA because it had been lost or destroyed, when, in fact, it was sitting in nearly the exact same place where it had been stored originally in 1985.

According to the

Daily News

, “U.S. Circuit Judge Raymond Lohier wrote that Newton proved the city’s evidence-handling system was woefully inadequate around the time of his conviction in 1985 and subsequent appeals — a key element in determining whether he deserved the hefty sum.”

Thursday’s ruling reverses a decision by the district court to set aside the jury’s $18.5 million verdict to Newton.  According to the

Daily News

, “[b]arring an appeal by the city to the U.S. Supreme Court and a dispute over attorney’s fees, the money will be paid.”

John Schutty, Newton’s attorney, said that the exoneree cried tears of joy when he learned of Thursday’s ruling. “He was ecstatic. He hasn’t received a nickel from the city and state. Finally, we’re hoping this is it,” said Schutty, according to the

Daily News


Read the full story


Learn more about Alan in “The Ties That Bind,” published in the

2014 summer issue of the

Innocence Project in Print


Leave a reply

Thank you for visiting us. You can learn more about how we consider cases here. Please avoid sharing any personal information in the comments below and join us in making this a hate-speech free and safe space for everyone.

Thanks for your comment

Featured news

Press "Enter" or click on the arrow to show results.