Appeals Court Upholds $101.7 Million Verdict Against FBI

The 1st Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld an award of $101.7 million against the FBI for framing four men in a gangland slaying. One man served 33 years in prison, another 29 years and the other two died in prison. The verdict was initially entered by U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Gertner following a 22 day bench trial.

Judge Gertner found the FBI not only withheld exculpatory evidence, it continued to hide it for decades after the trial. The award is to the families of Peter J. Limone, Joseph Salvati, Louis Greco, and Henry Tameleo. The appeals court wrote (opinion here):

“But when we take into account the severe emotional trauma inflicted upon the scapegoats...we cannot say with any firm conviction that those awards are grossly disproportionate to the injuries sustained.’’

< CIA Pouts | Sunday Night Open Thread >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    FBI, CIA, the cop on the beat, (none / 0) (#1)
    by oldpro on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 12:24:57 PM EST
    the local sheriff...when 'the good guys' are the bad guys, we are lost and the words 'law enforcement' have no meaning.  It is the worst kind of corruption.

    So, other than the financial award, what happened to those FBI officials?  Are they in jail?

    If not, why not?

    Thanks, Donald. Always (none / 0) (#9)
    by oldpro on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 07:01:08 PM EST
    interesting to get your perspective.

    As I was reading your second paragraph, I immediately thought of "Chinatown"...a terrific movie which I recently saw a second time.

    Yes, corruption is relative, I'll grant you that, but it seems to me the country is going in the wrong direction and retrogressing.  That doesn't bode well for progressives who tend to want progress and tolerate backsliding rather badly...as do I.


    Wow Bench trial Unusual (none / 0) (#2)
    by oculus on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 12:37:09 PM EST
    Decision for a plaintiff's counsel in a federal civil rights lawsuit. Good gamble though.  

    The lawyer was (none / 0) (#12)
    by Peter G on Mon Aug 31, 2009 at 02:44:06 PM EST
    Professor Michael Avery, of Suffolk Law School in Boston -- co-author of the leading treatise on Police Misconduct Litigation, is the winning attorney.  The trial judge was the courageous and independent Nancy Gertner, of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts.

    So what do we pay... (none / 0) (#3)
    by Dadler on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 12:46:54 PM EST
    ...the families of those innocents we've actually executed?  Like Cameron Todd Willingham, just recently murdered by the state of Texas.

    Hopefully enough to absolutely physically bankrupt the corrupt process that put them to death.

    you want to bankrupt the justice system (none / 0) (#4)
    by The Last Whimzy on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 12:48:34 PM EST
    sure.  why not?   my life seems unimproved by its inclusion.

    Forget unimproved.... (none / 0) (#11)
    by kdog on Mon Aug 31, 2009 at 10:19:41 AM EST
    downright endangered....I'll do a jig the day law & order goes bankrupt.

    Large settlements (none / 0) (#5)
    by The Last Whimzy on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 12:53:22 PM EST
    sometimes i think it rubs people the wrong way.

    although in this case, it appears justified, one of the things i always try to tell people is that without a large award, the guilty party almost walks away encouraged to do it again.

    if they really witheld evidence, why isn't it ever considered just tossing the FBI agents responsible in jail too?

    now THAT would be a deterrent.

    the fbi shouldn't worry, (none / 0) (#6)
    by cpinva on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 01:54:22 PM EST
    no doubt the USSC will reduce that judgement to something more "reasonable", say a couple of grand per "scapegoat". after all, actual innocence is no bar to punishment.


    if they really witheld evidence, why isn't it ever considered just tossing the FBI agents responsible in jail too?

    if they did, the fbi would never be able to find anyone to work for them, ever, again. at least, that's what all police agencies would have us believe.

    "badges? we don't need no stinkin' badges!"

    ick. (none / 0) (#8)
    by coigue on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 05:26:45 PM EST