Family of Wrongfully Convicted Man Gets $1.5 Million

In Brattleboro, a court case against police officers whose errors sent a man to prison for 18 years for a crime he probably did not commit has ended. The state will pay $1.5 million to the family of John Grega, who died after he was released from prison. “The Grega family is very happy,” Ian Carleton told the Valley Post in a telephone interview on April 27. He is the family's lawyer. “They fought for justice and they got it.” The deal was announced April 22.

In 2012, a judge ordered John Grega released from prison in Springfield, Vermont, near Brattleboro, after 18 years in prison for a murder that he probably did not commit. The murder happened in 1994 in Dover, Vermont, which is also near Brattleboro. Grega died in a car crash in January 2015. The judge said a prosecutor and three state police officers probably fabricated evidence in the case.

A group that has a web site at www.InnocenceProject.org has freed 337 people from prison in the USA by proving they were innocent of the crime they were imprisoned for. On average those people spent 14 years in prison.

No other nation on earth incarcerates such a high percentage of its people. As of 2008, the USA had about 751 people in prison or jail for every 100,000 in population. "England's rate is 151; Germany's is 88; and Japan's is 63." That's according to "U.S. prison population dwarfs that of other nations," an article by Adam Liptak that appeared in the New York Times on April 23, 2008. Those numbers were virtually unchanged as of 2013, the most recent year for which data is available.

About half the people in U.S. prisons are there for non-violent crimes, mostly related to drugs. Suzi Wizowaty is a former elected member of the Vermont legislature. She runs a group that works to reduce the number of people that Vermont imprisons. The group's web site is www.VermontersForCriminalJusticeReform.org.

A group that Works nationally to reduce the prison population has a web site at www.EllaBakerCenter.org.

Comments

18 years you can never get

18 years you can never get back. How incredibly tragic.

Stephanie Scherr
Fitzwilliam, NH

No settlement will ever

No settlement will ever replace a stolen life.

Lincoln Sander IV
Coxsackie, NY

There is a heavy use of the

There is a heavy use of the word "probably" here. What is the evidence alleged to have been fabricated and what is the other evidence?

The judge found that the

The judge found that the evidence showing Grega was innocent was strong enough to free Grega from prison. The state, represented by Attorney General Bill Sorrell, thought this evidence was strong enough that $1.5 million was a fair settlement. More information is available from Sorrell, whose web site is www.atg.state.vt.us and from Carleton, whose web site is www.sheeheyVT.com/professionals/ian-p-carleton

Post new comment

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.