(Reuters) – A California man who was wrongfully convicted for killing an ex-girlfriend and her son four decades ago has reached a $21 million settlement with the city of Simi Valley, officials said.
Craig Coley, 71, was sentenced to life in prison without parole for the 1978 murder of his former partner, Rhonda Wicht, and her 4-year-old son, Donald, at their apartment.
He had always maintained his innocence, and was pardoned in 2017 by California’s then-governor, Jerry Brown, based on exculpatory DNA evidence found by investigators.
“While no amount of money can make up for what happened to Mr. Coley, settling this case is the right thing to do for Mr. Coley and our community,” Simi Valley City Manager Eric Levitt said on Saturday in a statement.
The 39 years Coley spent behind bars was the longest prison term ever overturned in California, the statement said.
Since his release, Coley has spoken to law enforcement officials about evidence collection, and has met with parents of prisoners who maintain their innocence, according to Mike Bender, a close friend and former police detective in Simi Valley, a community just outside Los Angeles.
Bender had pushed for Coley’s release for nearly three decades after he became troubled by aspects of the case.FILE PHOTO: Inmate Craig Coley, wrongly convicted of the 1978 double-murder of a woman and her child, and released from prison on the basis of DNA evidence was pardoned by California Governor Jerry Brown, in Simi Valley, California, U.S., is shown in this handout photo provided November 23, 2017. California Department of Corrections and Rehabilition/Handout via REUTERS
“Craig’s message is always don’t give up,” Bender told Reuters by telephone on Sunday.
More than 350 U.S. inmates have been exonerated by DNA testing since 1989, according to New York-based the Innocence Project, which helps people who were wrongfully convicted. On average, convicts who were freed had served 14 years in prison when exonerated.
California authorities awarded Coley $1.95 million last year — $140 for each day he spent in prison. At the time, it was the largest payout for a wrongful conviction by the state’s Victim Compensation Board.
Cohen offers Congress ‘new details’ on Trump
That money allowed Coley to buy a home. With the new settlement money, he will also be able visit places on his bucket list and continue to help the wrongfully convicted, Bender said.
“He’s looking forward to being able to live his life,” Bender said, “No one would want to trade places with him.”
On October 27, 2011, Baltimore police officer Joe Crystal witnessed two fellow cops beating up a drug suspect after the suspect, fleeing from the officers, kicked in the door of a home belonging to another officer’s girlfriend. Faced with the difficult decision of whether to turn in his fellow officers, Crystal felt he had to do the right thing, and reported the officers’ actions to the State’s Attorney’s Office.
As a result, Crystal was labeled a “snitch” and a “rat cop” by many of his fellow officers and subjected to threats and intimidation — including having a dead rat placed on his car’s windshield. Eventually, in 2014 he bowed to the pressure and resigned from the Baltimore PD.
In this exclusive interview, Crystal and The Young Turks’ Cenk Uygur discuss:
– Crystal’s background, and how he grew up always wanting to be a cop.
– Working with an officer who could have been the real-life Pryzbylewski from “The Wire.”
– The consequences of turning in his fellow cops.
– The difficulties he’s faced in finding another job.
– The critical difference between police culture in big cities and small towns.
– Why cops are always inclined to protect one another.
– How cop culture and gang culture are similar.
– Whether community policing is a possible solution to the “us vs. them mentality of urban police forces.
– Why police training is an important part of the problem.
– Why he remains hopeful that policing can be improved.
Follow Joe on Twitter: @@Det_JoeCrystal
Follow Cenk on Twitter: @CenkUygur
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They were a bright spot in an American police department under a dark cloud. They were extremely effective at getting illegal guns off the streets.
Except they were also robbing citizens and selling drugs.
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Jacob Daskel, coordinator of Brooklyn South Safety Patrol shomrim of Boro Park sits with his gun squat coordinating the robbery of 29 Church Ave.
Geoffrey Edelsten, 75, is gearing up to renew his vows with his much younger wife Gabi Grecko, 28.And on Thursday, the award-winning medical entrepreneur proved romance isn’t dead as he declared his love while dressed in an edgy black leather outfit.In an Instagram video shared by former prostitute Gabi, Geoffrey said: ‘Hi my darling Gabi, there are tides in the affairs of men and women, that is there are success and failures… and we must take the current as it serves.’… So when we have the opportunity we must take it.’ Share this article Share The elderly businessman then removed his leather jacket for dramatic effect.’My darling, open up your eyes and you’ll realise here I stand with my everlasting love – see you soon,’ he finished. Aspiring rapper Gabi, who is currently living in the US, captioned the video: ‘The two G’s.’Melbourne-based Geoffrey told Daily Mail Australia that they are still living in different countries ahead of their nuptials.’I recorded the video yesterday but didn’t know that Gabi would post it,’ he said. Gabi is currently in the process of converting to Judaism so she can renew her vows with much older husband Geoffrey in a Jewish synagogue.The couple first wed in an Asian registry office in Melbourne back in 2015. Geoffrey is currently recovering from an operation and Gabi is still based in New York, so the pair have yet to see each other in person since reconciling. To keep their long-distance love alive, Gabi admitted to Sydney Morning Herald that they’ve been ‘sexting’ each other. Geoffrey, who is a medical entrepreneur, has also been receiving help in the love department by taking a new erectile dysfunction tablet that he developed.Meanwhile, Gabi is currently focused on her burgeoning rap career after debuting her hip-hop alter-ego Glitta Fox last year.The rapper has already released two singles, Glitta Foxx Lean and See Me Madd. In 2016, Gabi hit the headlines after she claimed she was paid to accompany two NYPD officers at the center of a corruption probe on a lavish alcohol and sex romp to Las Vegas in 2013.The busty socialite told the New York Post that she was paid to join the since-fired Deputy Inspector James Grant and Detective Michael Milici on a private jet to Sin City.She said she was recruited by New York businessman and Bill de Blasio campaign donor Jeremy Reichberg, recalling how she performed sexual favors for the officers during the flight.Gabi famously met Geoffrey on a sugar daddy website when she was 25.
The difference between Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
Learn about the political, social, and economic changes in the Union and the Confederacy and the Civil War’s long-term economic and intellectual impact.
A New Birth of Freedom: The Civil War, 1861-1865 narrates the history of the American Civil War. While the course examines individual engagements and the overall nature of the military conflict, the focus is less on the battlefield than on political, social, and economic change in the Union and the Confederacy. Central to the account are the road to emancipation, the role of black soldiers, the nature of Abraham Lincoln’s wartime leadership, internal dissent in both the North and South, the changing position of women in both societies, and the war’s long-term economic and intellectual impact. We end with a look at the beginnings of Reconstruction during the conflict.
This course is part of the series, The Civil War and Reconstruction, which introduces students to the most pivotal era in American history. The Civil War transformed the nation by eliminating the threat of secession and destroying the institution of slavery. It raised questions that remain central to our understanding of ourselves as a people and a nation — the balance of power between local and national authority, the boundaries of citizenship, and the meanings of freedom and equality. The series will examine the causes of the war, the road to secession, the conduct of the Civil War, the coming of emancipation, and the struggle after the war to breathe meaning into the promise of freedom for four million emancipated slaves. One theme throughout the series is what might be called the politics of history — how the world in which a historian lives affects his or her view of the past, and how historical interpretations reinforce or challenge the social order of the present.
Eric Foner, DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University, is one of the most prominent historians in the United States. Professor Foner is the author or editor of over twenty books concentrating on the intersections of intellectual, political and social history and the history of American race relations. His recent book, The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, the Bancroft Prize, and the Lincoln Prize. He is the author of Give Me Liberty!: An American History, a widely-used survey textbook of U. S. history published by W. W. Norton. Additionally, he is the recipient of the Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching from Columbia University. He is one of only two persons ever to serve as president of the three major professional organizations: the American Historical Association, Organization of American Historians, and Society of American Historians. As co-curator of two award-winning historical exhibitions, and through frequent appearances in newspapers and magazines and on radio and television discussion programs, he has also endeavored to bring historical knowledge to a broad public outside the university.
See other courses in this series:
The Civil War and Reconstruction – 1850-1861
The Civil War and Reconstruction – 1865-1890
Chicago Historical Society; Colby College; Columbia University; Cornell University; Paul J. Cronin; HarperCollins; LaborArts.org; Library of Congress; Museum of Modern Art; New York University; the Roam Agency; Wikipedia; W. W. Norton & Co.; and additional cultural and educational institutions. The design, production, and distribution of “The Civil War and Reconstruction” series is generously supported by the Office of the Provost at Columbia University.
“The Civil War and Reconstruction” course series is Copyright © 2014, Eric Foner and the Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York. Except where otherwise noted. Professor Foner’s course lecture videos in the series are licensed with the Creative Commons license BY-NC-SA 4.0, which means that anyone anywhere may copy, share, adapt, and remix the videos and the videos’ key media components, including transcripts, without having to ask for prior permission, as long as such sharing is done for noncommercial purposes and the original author, work, and copyright and Creative Commons notice above are cited. For more information, visit: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/