New Orleans prosecutors, exonerated man reach $2M settlement

Louisiana News

FILE – In this Jan. 26, 2017, file photo, Robert Jones, right, speaks with reporters, with defense attorneys Emily Maw, left, and Barry Scheck, at the New Orleans courthouse. Local prosecutors have reached a $2 million settlement with the New Orleans man who spent 23 years in prison before being cleared on charges that included rape and manslaughter. District Attorney Jason Williams said he reached the settlement Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021 with Robert Jones, who was formally cleared of the charges on his 44th birthday in 2017. (AP Photo/Kevin McGill, File)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Local prosecutors have reached a $2 million settlement with a New Orleans man who spent 23 years in prison before being cleared on charges including rape and manslaughter.

Robert Jones says that after so many years he welcomes what he calls “this measure of justice.”

He is now community outreach director for Orleans Public Defenders. District Attorney Jason Williams says Jones will get the money over six years.

He says the settlement averts the expense of a long trial and the risk that a jury might award Jones more money.  

A state appeal court vacated the convictions because prosecutors never gave defense lawyers some favorable evidence.

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