Eight years after he was conclusively exonerated by DNA evidence and six years after he started his federal civil rights suit, Byron Halsey, has, as reported in multiple media outlets, reached a global settlement of his wrongful conviction claims totaling $12.5 million.
Mr. Halsey was convicted for the November 1985 rape and murder of his girlfriend’s two children based on a confession that contained facts known only to the perpetrator and police. In 2007, after Mr. Halsey had been incarcerated for 22 years, DNA testing proved not only that he did not commit the crimes, but also that the real perpetrator was a man named Clifton Hall, who testified against Mr. Halsey at his trial. In light of the DNA evidence, it became clear that the investigating detectives intentionally falsified the “confession” that was used to convict Mr. Halsey.
The long and hard-fought litigation on Mr. Halsey’s behalf resulted in an important and precedent-setting decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. In issuing its Opinion, the Court noted the extraordinary nature of Mr. Halsey’s case: “except when an innocent defendant is executed, we hardly can conceive of a worse miscarriage of justice.”
Mr. Halsey’s case was handled by KRMF lawyers David Rudovsky and Jonathan Feinberg, who co-counseled the case with Peter Neufeld and Emma Freudenberger of the prestigious New York City civil rights law firm Neufeld Scheck & Brustin.