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Man wrongfully imprisoned for 13 years awarded $558K

April 1, 2022 GMT

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Massachusetts man wrongly imprisoned for 13 years has been awarded more than $550,000 by a Rhode Island judge.

Paul Courteau became the first beneficiary of a new state law allowing those wrongly imprisoned to seek redress from the state Superior Court, The Providence Journal reports.

The law grants up to $50,000 for each year served.

Courteau, a 64-year -old Taunton resident, was convicted of participating in an armed robbery of a North Providence jewelry business in 1981.

He was paroled in 1994 and exonerated in 1999 when another man confessed to the crime, according to the Journal.

The state attorney general’s office didn’t object to Courteau’s bid for restitution.

Courteau said after the hearing that he looked forward to “turning the page, leaving all this behind,” the Journal reports.

“I’m grateful now, but for the years I suffered and my family suffered, and all the other people who have been wrongfully convicted, it’s just horrific that things like that can happen in life,” he said.