View Full Version : Judge Awards $100M For Unjust Convictions

07-27-2007, 07:21 AM
Judge awards $100M for unjust convictions


By Scott Malone

BOSTON (Reuters) - A federal judge ordered the U.S. government on Thursday to pay over $100 million in damages, saying four men were wrongfully convicted of murder after the FBI withheld evidence to protect a mob informant.

In a stunning reprimand to the FBI, U.S. District Judge Nancy Gertner in Boston found the bureau helped convict the four men of the March 1965 gangland murder of Edward "Teddy" Deegan, a crime they did not commit.

Peter Limone, Henry Tameleo and Louis Greco had been sentenced to die in the electric chair for the slaying, although their death sentences were lifted in 1972. Joe Salvati was sentenced to life in prison, where he spent three decades.

"This case goes beyond mistakes, beyond the unavoidable errors of a fallible system," Gertner wrote in a 228-page decision, which called the FBI's defense -- that Massachusetts was to blame for an inadequate investigation -- "absurd."

"This case is about intentional misconduct, subornation of perjury, conspiracy, the framing of innocent men," she wrote.

Salvati and Limone, along with survivors of Tameleo and Greco -- who died in prison -- sued the FBI five years ago charging wrongful conviction.

"I'm very happy for the judge's decision. She corrected a wrong and made it right," Limone, 73, told reporters. Referring to the $101.75 million in damages, he added, "All the money in the world couldn't bring me back 33 years."

Charles Miller, a spokesman for the Justice Department in Washington, declined to comment on the decision.

"We haven't seen Judge Gertner's order yet, so consequently we can't even begin our review until such time as we see the order," Miller said.