Man gets huge payout after spending 32 years in prison for murders he didn't commit

Man gets huge payout after spending 32 years in prison for murders he didn't commit
Dissident Belarus journalist sentenced to 8 years in prison

A man who was wrongly imprisoned for 32 years over crimes he didn’t commit has been awarded $13 million (£10.4 million) in compensation.

Victor Rosario was arrested in 1982 at the age of 24. He was convicted of arson and murder after a fire killed eight people, including five children, in Lowell, Massachusetts.

He spent more than three decades behind bars after confessing at the time. However, the conviction was overturned in 2014 when the appeals court suspected that the confession had not been made voluntarily. He was then released from prison.

Now, he’s been awarded $13 million in compensation in what represents the biggest settlement in New England history.

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"Today, this chapter is ending and a new chapter begins for me,” he said after the settlement was confirmed.

Wrongfully-convicted Lowell man awarded $13 million

"Nothing can ever compensate for those years taken from me and I'm asking the criminal justice system, the universities, to prepare lawyers, prosecutors and investigators to do their very best to not let what happened to me be the future of one more wrongly convicted individual."

Rosario also told to reporters outside the courtroom about his experiences of his initial trial, saying: “I tried with my eyes to communicate [that] I'm an innocent man. Nobody believed it in that time.”

One of his attorneys, Mark Loevy-Reyes, said: “There has never been any physical evidence that there was an arson on Decatur Street.

Rosario was first arrested at the age of 24CBS Boston

“Not one shred of evidence yet, a couple hours afterwards, investigators determined that it was arson and they had to find a suspect.

“They coerced a confession after keeping him up all night. Victor was traumatized because he had tried to save children from the burning fire. He heard their screams. He hadn't slept. And after an all-night interrogation, they told Victor ‘if you sign this piece of paper, you can go’.”

Rosario added: “It was basically a language issue, I don’t understand, they give me a piece of paper to sign thinking that I'm going home. And when I turn around, the home was for me the handcuffs in my hands.”

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