A man who spent 20 behind bars for a crime he says he didn’t commit has pulled an unorthodox move while fighting his wrongful imprisonment in New York City. Richard Rosario was accused of murder in 1996. He was convicted and has spent 20 years in prison. However, just this past year New York City prosecutors admitted that he had been wrongfully convicted, offering to dismiss the charges against him.
This would be excellent news for most people but Rosario called the move “unacceptable.” He says that he was wrongfully imprisoned in New York even after proving that he wasn’t even in the city when the crime was committed. He says the only reason he was convicted in the first place was because his original defense team failed to identify and question as many as 13 people who could have given him a solid alibi.
They did contact a handful of these individuals who did state that Rosario had been in Florida at the time, but prosecutors urged the court to discount that limited testimony because the witnesses were all friends of Rosario.
Rosario wants the case to be fully investigated and exonerated of the crime, not simply have the original charges dropped. The prosecutor’s admission that Rosario was wrongfully imprisoned doesn’t absolve him of the crime. However, it does raise questions about the evidence presented in the original trial. These questions certainly suggest that the original trial might have resulted in a not guilty verdict.
Regardless of whether Rosario’s case is reopened, these turn of events that will likely result in a wrongful imprisonment lawsuit in New York. Many such cases have resulted in significant financial awards or settlements out of court. While the amount of money victims receive varies greatly, the case is evaluated mainly by the amount of time the victim has spent behind bars.
If you have been wrongfully arrested and imprisoned, you may be entitled to money damages. Call the expert New York City wrongful imprisonment attorney at the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel. To learn your rights, call 800-734-9338 or 212-385-1122 today.