Home / National News / DC to Pay More than $16 Million to Settle Wrongful Conviction Lawsuit


(WASHINGTON) — A man who served 27 years in jail for a rape and murder he did not commit will be paid over $16 million in the settlement of a federal lawsuit.

The Washington Post reports that Donald Gates will be paid $16.65 million in the largest settlement in city history. A jury of nine people determined Wednesday that a pair of homicide detectives had fabricated all or part of a confession, supposedly made by Gates, and withheld evidence in an attack on a 21-year-old student in 1981.

Gates was exonerated in 2009, 28 years after the attack.

Since then, Gates filed the federal lawsuit for wrongful conviction. It was the first civil rights claim for damages involving wrongful conviction in the District of Columbia.

The Washington Post notes that the $16.65 million payment will exceed the total amount of money that D.C. paid out in claims in all of 2013.

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