Wednesday, May 6, 2009

$1.5 Million for Wrongful Incarceration

The New York Daily News reports on the settlement received by a man who was wrongly incarcerated.

A 34-year-old cabbie who spent nine months in jail for a crime he didn't commit based on a cop's "phony" identification Tuesday got a $1.5 million settlement from the city.

"This is the end of a very ugly part of my life," Jesus Diaz Delossantos said after the settlement in Bronx Supreme Civil Court.

"There was a mistake, but thank God there is an end."

Delossantos, a Dominican immigrant and the father of two children, was arrested in 2002 after an undercover cop identified him as the man who sold him 100 Ecstasy tablets two weeks earlier.

The cops involved in this "mistake" were not charged with any wrongdoing. To me it sounds like only half the problem has been addressed. What do you think? Isn't this similar to the cases we frequently discuss in which the overzealous prosecutors are left standing after their handiwork is overturned in the courts.

What about the amount? Is that excessive for nine months in jail? I'm not suggesting it is, bit I wonder what the city would do for someone wrongly jailed for ten or twenty years. What do you think?

What about the idea of undercover drug buys by the police? Is that really necessary? Isn't that often a case of entrapment or something?

Please feel free to leave a comment.


  1. Being awared 1.5 million is one thing, collecting it from a legally sovereign body is another. New York may approach the figure as a "recomendation".

    As to the mistake, it would be interesting to see if it was an isolated, honest mistake or an example of what happened in Dallas during the 1980s.

    Here, a few proscecutors were allowed to retain their positions even after numerous complaints. They then worked with a few bad cops to rig trials towards pre conceived out comes based on manufactured evidence or coerced "eye witnesses".

    The result, about 10 rape conviction overturned so far. Some of these men spent 15-20 years in jail. I think the Texas compensation, despite evidence of malicious action by the DA has been about 30,000 per year.

  2. Yeah, that Texas justice is something else. We discussed a case before which was pretty amazing.