Judge Overturns $18.5M Reward for Exonerated Man

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(New York Times) — A federal judge in Manhattan on Thursday set aside an $18.5 million jury verdict against New York City in a lawsuit filed by a man who spent 22 years in prison for a rape he did not commit.  The judge, Shira A. Scheindlin, said that the man, Alan Newton, had not proved that any city employees “withheld evidence in deliberate contravention or disregard of his right to due process.”  Mr. Newton, who was found guilty on rape, robbery and assault charges in 1985, spent years pressing the city to find the rape kit and test it. The police finally found it in a warehouse in 2005, and he was freed in 2006 after tests showed that his DNA did not match genetic material taken from the victim after the assault.

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