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Philly man wins largest settlement from city for wrongful incarceration

Pennsylvania

Carol Ozemhoya | OW Contributor | 6/18/2018, 2:49 p.m.
Anthony Wright, a Philadelphia man incarcerated for....
Anthony Wright

Anthony Wright, a Philadelphia man incarcerated for 25 years for a crime he did not commit, was just awarded nearly $10 million from the city. It’s reportedly the largest settlement ever paid out as a result of a wrongful conviction, reports Philly.com. DNA evidence proved Wright did not commit a rape and murder in 2016, some 25 years after the crime. The $9.85 million payout to the 46-year-old Wright is more than double a previous settlement was made in the amount of $4.4 million to college student Philippe Holland in 2017. Holland was shot multiple times after he had made a food delivery to a home in West Philadelphia. Wright’s case underscores how important DNA evidence is in criminal prosecutions. Statistics from the Innocence Project show that since 1989, DNA evidence has led to exoneration of 356 people serving prison terms in the United States. In August 2016, with the DNA evidence on his side, Wright was retired in Common Pleas Court and was found not guilty by a jury whose members later expressed disgust with the District Attorney’s Office for retrying the case in the face of evidence that proved Wright was not guilty of raping and killing Louise Talley inside her Nicetown home. DNA tests showed that sperm found inside Talley’s body belonged to Ronnie Byrd, a former Nicetown crack addict who died in a South Carolina prison at age 62. The testing also proved that only Talley’s DNA was inside clothing that homicide detectives say Wright told them he wore and that was found inside his bedroom in his mother’s Nicetown house.