Man acquitted of rape after 25 years in prison to get $10M
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Philadelphia has reach a settlement of nearly $10 million with a man who spent 25 years in prison before being acquitted in a retrial in the rape and murder of a 77-year-old woman.
Anthony Wright was sentenced to life in prison in the 1991 slaying of his neighbor, Louise Talley, who was raped and repeatedly stabbed. The conviction was reversed in 2014 after DNA evidence pointed to a former crack addict who died in a South Carolina prison.
Wright filed a federal lawsuit accusing police of writing a false confession and coercing him to sign it without reading it and planting other evidence used to convict him.
The city said Wednesday the settlement doesn’t include an admission of liability and includes $4 million to be paid before the end of the month, $3 million before the end of August and $2.85 million before the end of August 2019.
Mayor Jim Kenney called the agreement a fair resolution of a case he called “tragic.”
“Mr. Wright has shown great dignity throughout this process, and I hope this resolution assists him and his family after what they have been through,” he said in a statement.
Police Commissioner Richard Ross said there have been “tremendous reforms” in the Philadelphia police department since Wright’s incarceration, citing advances in forensic sciences and changes in investigative procedures, such as videotaping of interrogations.
David Rudovsky, one of Wright’s attorneys, lauded the department’s “significant reforms” and said he hopes such efforts “will ensure that everyone is treated fairly under the law.”
A statement from Wright said he will never get over the years spent in prison or missing time with his mother and growing son, but he was relieved he could get on with his life.
“For the sake of my young grandchildren, I am encouraged that the city of Philadelphia will continue to take steps to make sure that what happened to me never happens to my grandchildren or any other child,” he said.