Overruled Conviction Nets Wrongfully Imprisoned Man $220,000
After spending more than three and a half years behind bars, a wrongfully imprisoned Pennsylvania man settled for $220,000 with the state of Ohio.
In 2004, the Ohio State Highway Patrol in Lorain County pulled over a car that Erie resident Albert Graves was a passenger in and found cocaine and marijuana in the trunk of the vehicle. A Lorain County Common Pleas Court judge in April 2008 sentenced Graves to 11 years behind bars for drug possession and trafficking.
In his second appeal to the Ninth District Court of Appeals, the court in November 2011 overturned Graves’ conviction stating his first appellate lawyer was ineffective. The court also determined that there was lack of evidence proving that Graves knew about the drugs in the car’s trunk. All charges were later dismissed.
After his conviction was overturned, Graves filed a lawsuit for wrongful imprisonment, loss of income, and attorney fees. He was awarded $221,252 for spending 1,320 days behind bars from April 18, 2008 until Nov. 28, 2011. The Court of Claims of Ohio approved the settlement on April 2.
In exchange for the money, Graves agreed to drop all pending claims and not file any future claims involving the wrongful imprisonment. No part of the settlement agreement can be used against the state in any other legal proceeding.
The Court of Claims is given original jurisdiction to hear and determine all civil actions filed against the State of Ohio and its agencies.
To access information on other cases visit the Court of Claims website.
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