MA Appeals Court Rules On Remuneration Case

June 29th, 2009

A Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled last week that Humberto Guzman could be eligible for as much as $500,000 after he spent four years in prison for drug charges. At issue before the court was whether the Massachusetts Erroneous Convictions Law of 2004 could benefit those who had not been conclusively exonerated. Guzman’s conviction was vacated in 1994 on the basis of inadequate counsel, and after two Boston police detectives who originally testified against him were indicted by a federal grand jury for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars during drug raids. The officers were convicted and served three years in prison. In 2006, Guzman applied for remuneration but was denied because the court said he had not actually been found innocent and other evidence implicated him in the crime. The Appeals Court decided that the law does not limit eligibility for remuneration “to those individuals exonerated as a result of compelling or overwhelming exculpatory evidence.”

Read more from The Boston Globe: $500,000 could be awarded in overturned drug case