Fifty-three-year-old Jonathan Fleming, an African-American who was imprisoned for 24 years for allegedly shooting Darryl Rush, is said to receive $6.25 million from the New York government as compensation for being wrongfully charged.
In a statement issued by Scott Stringer, a New York Comptroller, almost half of Fleming’s life was spent in prison for a felony, which, at the time of its commission, had evidence that it was not possible for him to have committed it. In a report from the Independent, new evidence — a phone receipt — was found and admitted before the court, proving that Fleming was with his family on vacation at Disney World in Bay Lake, Florida at the time the murder was committed.
And since nothing or no one can give him back the time he spent at prison, the City of New York is instead, offering Fleming “compensation for the injustice that was committed against him.”
The settlement, according to USA Today, came more than 14 months from when a judge ordered his release. His suit against New York City involved $162 million but he settled with $6.25 million.
When he was released, he only had food stamps and some $93 cash and without a job or home. Despite that, however, the Guardian said Fleming, while inside the prison, did not give up on his faith. He is neither angry nor bitter.
“I’m not angry. But I think about all the things I could have accomplished during that time and I come out to nothing. No housing. No nothing,” Feming was quoted as saying.
An Ailing Mother
Fleming described the day he received the settlement as a “bittersweet moment” because on that same day, he was taking off the life support of his mother who sustained brain damage after falling into cardiac arrest two weeks ago and a heart attack this year, USA Today reported.
His lawyers, Martin Edelman and Paul Callan issued a statement saying “today was a day of great joy and great sadness for Jonathan Fleming,” who has been grateful for the 14 months being with his mother.