“It’s a good day for civil rights.”


An appeals court in Boston upheld a $102 million verdict in a classic case of police misconduct.  As reported by the AP:

A federal appeals court on Thursday upheld a $102 million judgment against the government for withholding evidence that could have cleared four men who spent decades in prison — including two who died there — for a murder they didn’t commit.

Joseph Salvati, Peter Limone and the families of Henry Tameleo and Louis Greco sued the federal government for malicious prosecution after U.S. District Judge Nancy Gertner ruled in July 2007 that Boston FBI agents withheld evidence they knew could prove the men weren’t involved in the 1965 killing of Edward “Teddy” Deegan, a small-time hoodlum who was shot in an alley.

“While we reject its finding that the government is liable for malicious prosecution, we uphold the court’s alternate finding that the government is liable for intentional infliction of emotional distress,” the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said on Thursday. “We conclude that the awards, though high, are not so grossly disproportionate to the harm sustained as to either shock our collective conscience or raise the specter of a miscarriage of justice.”

Read the full story here (AP) and here (Boston Globe).

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