January 22, 2016

Man who spent 22 years in prison for rape he didn't commit faces long legal battle with NYC over $18 million jury award

1-22-16 New York:

They took away his freedom — and now they keep trying to take away his money.

The city is doubling down its efforts to stop Alan Newton, who spent 22 years behind bars for a rape he didn’t commit, from collecting the $18 million verdict a jury awarded him in 2010.

“This is a journey that started in 1984, and it’s still going on because the city refuses to take any responsibility,” Newton told the Daily News on Thursday.

Manhattan Federal Court Judge Shira Scheindlin had set aside the jury verdict in 2011, arguing Newton wasn’t entitled to the money because the city didn’t violate his civil rights.

But the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals reversed Scheindlin’s decision last Feb. 26, reinstating the monumental verdict. The federal appeals court also rejected the city’s request to rehear the appeal.

The city Law Department then tried to fight that ruling in the U.S. Supreme Court, but the high court declined to hear the case earlier this month, according to court documents.

But the city is still refusing to pay up.

The city Law Department claims in new court papers the Second Circuit didn't weigh “whether the amount of the damages was appropriate” and “did not address the question whether the separate verdict on damages was excessive.”

All the appeals court did was decide whether the city was at fault for Newton’s wrongful incarceration, the city lawyers argue — and they now want Scheindlin to reduce the award. ..Continued.. by Victoria Bekiempis, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

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