Throughout history, wrongful convictions have ruined the lives of many. And those who are freed after years behind bars cannot and will not ever make up for the time lost.
Well, a North Carolina man who was prisoned for twenty-three years has been awarded $6 million in damages after the Jury found out the evidence was falsified.
Darryl Howard was convicted in 1995 for the murder of a woman and her thirteen-year-old daughter in 1991.
He was sentenced to eighty years after being found guilty of arson and 2 counts of 2nd-degree murder.
And so, Darryl, an innocent man, lived out twenty-three years of his life behind bars for a crime he did not commit.
Twenty-three years? You might be wondering. Because his sentence was actually eighty years long. So, how come he served twenty-three, instead?
Well, on August 31, 2016, Darryl Howard’s convictions were dismissed after finding out that evidence had been fabricated by Durham police detective Darryl Dowdy.
And, you’d be very happy if your sentence was reduced that significantly…If you were guilty of the crime you served time for. But, Howard was not guilty in the slightest, and so, twenty-three years in prison was a complete and utter injustice.
And so, in 2017, Howard filed a civil rights lawsuit against Dowdy and others of misconduct, resulting in him losing twenty-three years of life he could have spent outside of a prison cell, reported by the Associated Press.
But, even though Howard has been awarded $6 million, his attorneys actually requested $48 million, leaving him with $42 million less than he had hoped for as a result of wrongfully taking years from his previous way of life.
Dorris Washington and Nishonda, the woman, and her daughter who were killed were found face down on a bed in their apartment that had been set on fire.
And, according to the News and Observer, they had both been s**ually assaulted, which is making people on social media question why it took nineteen years to test DNA that would “exonerate Darryl Anthony Howard.”
Many people took to Twitter to express the horrific tragedy, too.
“There is no way to give Darryl Howard back twenty years of his life,” someone said on the platform.
“Our justice system’s so broken. This man served twenty-two years for a crime he didn’t commit,” another person wrote.
And in an interview with The News and Observer, Darryl Howard spoke out about the verdict.
“I’m happy about the verdict but I’m just kind of upset about the damages though,” he said. “Twenty-three years of my life, but I’m glad about the verdict.”
Upon being asked by the reporter how much he would have wanted in damages, he told her he wasn’t going to put a “value” on the situation because there’s nothing he can do about it now.
He then said that he lost 3 of his brothers during the coronavirus pandemic this year, and 2 passed away only 9 days apart.
Which, undoubtedly will be extremely hard for Howard, who had twenty-three years spent without his family.
“It was difficult, very difficult,” he explained before being asked if he thinks justice has been served.
“No,” he said bluntly, and rightly so.
What do you think about this situation?