Constitutional Law

Federal jury awards $18M each to 2 men in wrongful conviction case

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It took less than two hours of deliberation Thursday for a federal jury in New York to decide to award $18 million, each, to two men in a wrongful conviction case.

The jury had already decided last week that a now-deceased Nassau County detective violated the civil rights of Dennis Halstead, 59, and John Restivo, 56, by planting or withholding evidence in a rape-murder case, reports Newsday. A News 12 Long Island article provides additional details.

The two men served nearly 18 years in prison after being wrongfully convicted of the 1984 rape and murder of a Long Island teenager, Theresa Fusco.

Halstead, Restivo and a third convicted defendant, John Kogut, were freed in 2003 after DNA evidence exonerated them.

Kogut was not part of the civil rights trial and a different jury earlier declined to award him any damages, the articles say.

See also:

New York Times (reg. req., 2003): “DNA Evidence Frees 3 Men In 1984 Murder of L.I. Girl “

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