New Orleans DA Agrees to $2M Settlement For Exonerated Man

  • New Orleans DA Agrees to $2M Settlement For Exonerated Man

On August 16, 2021, New Orleans District Attorney agreed to a $2 million settlement for an exonerated man who had spent 23 years in prison on rape and murder charges.

Jason Williams, New Orleans Paris District Attorney, states that the plaintiff will get the money in annual installments until 2026.

The plaintiff, now 48 years old, has welcomed this measure of justice as per the statement by his attorneys.

The plaintiff had to battle 23 years to get vacated from all charges. When the plaintiff was 19 years old, he got convict of a string of crimes in the French Quarter. In the year 1996, he was found guilty of rape and robbery.  Immediately after the conviction, he pleaded guilty to the murder of a British tourist.

In 2014, a state appeal court vacated the conviction against plaintiff prosecutors under former District Attorney Harry Connick did not give defense lawyers some favorable evidence. The man was released from Louisiana’s prison in 2015 on parole, while in 2017, on his 44th birthday, his guilty plea got vacated by Judge Jerome Winsberg, where prosecutors dropped their bid to retry the rape and robbery charges. In 2018, the exonerated filed a lawsuit against the office for wrongful conviction.

The settlement agreement comes a long time after Williams' office agreed to resolve the remaining claim in a lawsuit from crime victims and witnesses over fake subpoenas used under former District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro. Williams' office has not yet revealed that settlement's terms.

Williams stated in a news release that he intends to keep working until the day when the District Attorney's Office gets free from wrongful-conviction lawsuits that resulted from previous administrations.

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