I recently wrote an article about an Ohio man who was cleared by DNA evidence after spending 18 years in jail. He received a monetary settlement for his time spent in jail by the State of Ohio. Now New York state settled for $1.9 million with a man who spent 19 years in prison for a murder he did not commit. A key witness recently recanted his testimony asserting the lead detective, with mob ties, forced him to lie to protect the real killer. Sounds like a made for TV movie. Yet, it’s for real.
New York city settled for an additional whopping $11.9 million, the largest individual settlement in the city’s history, according to the city’s law department. Barry Gibbs had been in jail since 1986, framed by a crooked Mafia cop. He sued the city after being exonerated and his trial was scheduled to begin this month.
In 1986, Barry Gibbs, a porter, received a sentence of 20 years to life. When new facts surfaced indicating his innocence, the investigation began which led to his original file being found in the former corrupt cop’s house. Stuff like this usually only happens on TV. Barry Scheck of the Innocence Project helped to get Mr. Gibbs’ criminal verdict overturned. Then Scheck’s law firm sued the city which resulted in the settlement.
As for the crooked Mafia cop, he received a sentence of life plus 100 years. Justice finally prevailed. Barry Scheck called Mr. Gibbs’ case a “horrible injustice”. No words nor money can repay Mr. Gibbs, the real victim for taking away 19 years of his life. So did justice really prevail? Would you want to spend 19 years in jail in exchange for $11.9 million. So who wants to be a millionaire?