Alan Newton spent 22 years in prison for a rape he didn’t commit, and after he was released, he was awarded $18 million by a jury in 2010. However, Newton still faces an uphill legal battle as the city is trying to block him from collecting that money.
“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.
In 2011, Manhattan Federal Court Judge Shira Scheindlin set aside the verdict and said that Newton was not entitled to the money because his civil rights had not been violated. However, that decision was turned over by the Manhattan Federal Court Judge Shira Scheindlin in February, and the federal court refused to hear the city’s cry for an appeal, Daily News reports.
The city then tried to take the case to the Supreme Court, but the court refused to hear it, meaning the city had to pay up.
And yet Newton still hasn’t seen the money.
The city Law Department is now claiming that the Second Court did not weigh “whether the amount of the damages was appropriate” and “did not address the question whether the separate verdict on damages was excessive.” The city claims that the appeals court simply found whether or not the city was at fault for the wrongful incarceration and did not look at the amount awarded, which they want lowered.
“It’s always something new. Anything they can raise to stall payment, they raise,” Newton’s lawyer, John Schutty said.