A local man wrongly convicted of rape has settled with the Louisville Metro Government for the largest amount since the formation of the new government, $3.9 million dollars. William Gregory was falsely arrested and wrongly convicted of rape and attempted rape. He was ultimately freed after DNA evidence confirmed that hairs in a cap could not have been his. Prior to this settlement, he settled his lawsuit against the state of Kentucky for false testimony by its forensic examiner. I saw this story on the news tonight and quicky went to the Courier-Journal online to read about it. I was suprised to see the number of comments from readers questioning whether Gregory should get this money. Freedom (aka Liberty) is one of our fundamental rights. Lest one forget Patrick Henry's closing to his memorable letter of 1775, "I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death! " Can one imagine a life (or even 7 years) spent in prison, with rapists, murders, and others of questionable character, knowing that you were innocent. Prison guards tell you when to eat, when to sleep, when to work and when to use the bathroom? KNOWING THAT YOU ARE INNOCENT! Seven years...seven long years. With no real hope you will ever be freed. I can't imagine it, nor can I imagine any amount of money will fairly compensate Gregory.
p.s. Reading the posts at the CJ, a number of people were concerned (for what reason I don't know) with how much the attorney's received and whether it would be taxed. Typically, attorney's who handle these cases are on a contingency basis of 1/3 to 40%. Generally, there are no taxes to the plaintiff, only to his attorneys.