NY Exoneree Awarded $18 Million

October 22nd, 2010

Alan Newton was arrested in 1985 for rape and robbery. He was convicted based on eyewitness testimony, and spent more than twenty years in prison. Four years ago, he was exonerated. This week, Newton was awarded $18 million in his civil suit against the city.

Newton and his lawyers spent five years trying to locate the rape kit to send for more extensive DNA testing. The sample was finally tested in 2006, leading to Newton’s exoneration.

The jury found that Newton’s constitutional rights were violated, and found two police officers liable for intentional infliction of emotional distress by not producing the rape kit sooner. John F. Shutty III, Newton’s lawyer, argued that the system in place for tracking post-conviction evidence was unacceptable and violated his client’s constitutional rights.

Since his release from prison, Newton has attended college and now works for the Black Male Initiative of the City University of New York to ensure that students graduate. Newton also took the law school admissions test and plans to apply to law school.
“I want to work with people that really need that legal assistance that’s just not there for them,” he said. “There are so many issues where people need competent counsel, and it’s just not out there. I think I’ll jump into it with both arms.”

O’Connor, Anahad. “$18 Million to Man Wrongfully Imprisoned.” October 18, 2010.
Read the article here.