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Onetime inmate gets his law degree after settling wrongful conviction suit for $3.4M


A New York man who was convicted of killing his parents in 1990 achieved two milestones this year: He obtained a nearly $3.4 million settlement in a suit alleging wrongful conviction, and he graduated from law school.

Martin Tankleff, 42, received his degree from Touro Law Center in a graduation ceremony on Sunday, the New York Post reports. The Associated Press spoke with Tankleff before the ceremony.

Tankleff was released from prison in December 2007 after an appeals court overturned his conviction on the basis of new evidence. New witnesses had said Tankleff’s parents were killed by a man angry over a business dispute. Prosecutors opted not to retry Tankleff.

Tankleff will take the bar exam in August and the next month he will become executive director of a group that works to free wrongfully convicted inmates.

“I look forward to being able to work with people who have been wrongfully convicted,” Tankleff said, according to the New York Post account. “I think I understand the system better than anyone else, any lawyer, any judge.”

Hat tip to @ScottGreenfield.

Prior coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Exonerated Man Helps Launch National Innocence Investigation Company”

ABAJournal.com: “Freed Inmate Wants to Pursue Law, Like Lawyers Who Helped Him”

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