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Judge clears way for $4.5 million settlement

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A U.S. District magistrate judge granted a joint motion Sept. 2 to vacate a jury verdict in favor of a man wrongfully imprisoned for rape, allowing a settlement reached between the man and the city of Hammond to be approved.

The parties in Larry Mayes v. City of Hammond, Indiana, et al., No. 2:03-CV-379-PRC, reached a settlement of $4.5 million in March and asked that the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals vacate summary judgment and a jury verdict awarding Larry Mayes $9 million after DNA evidence exonerated him from committing a 1980 rape.

The 7th Circuit denied the motion to vacate and remanded to the District Court to allow it to inform the appellate court if it would vacate the judgment and jury verdict. On Aug. 15, Magistrate Judge Paul R. Cherry of the Northern District of Indiana's Hammond Division issued an opinion advising the 7th Circuit that the court was inclined to grant the joint request of the parties to vacate the jury verdict and judgment to allow for the settlement. The 7th Circuit remanded the appeal of the case to the District Court to allow for the magistrate judge to vacate the judgment and jury verdict.

Mayes spent 21 years in the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City. With the help of Indiana University School of Law - Indianapolis' Criminal Defense Clinic, he was released in 2001 after the court granted a petition filed by students requesting DNA testing in his case.

For more about this story, check out the Sept. 17-30, 2008, edition of Indiana Lawyer.

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  1. The Conour embarrassment is an example of why it would be a good idea to NOT name public buildings or to erect monuments to "worthy" people until AFTER they have been dead three years, at least. And we also need to stop naming federal buildings and roads after a worthless politician whose only achievement was getting elected multiple times (like a certain Congressman after whom we renamed the largest post office in the state). Also, why have we renamed BOTH the Center Township government center AND the new bus terminal/bum hangout after Julia Carson?

  2. Other than a complete lack of any verifiable and valid historical citations to back your wild context-free accusations, you also forget to allege "ate Native American children, ate slave children, ate their own children, and often did it all while using salad forks rather than dinner forks." (gasp)

  3. "So we broke with England for the right to "off" our preborn progeny at will, and allow the processing plant doing the dirty deeds (dirt cheap) to profit on the marketing of those "products of conception." I was completely maleducated on our nation's founding, it would seem. (But I know the ACLU is hard at work to remedy that, too.)" Well, you know, we're just following in the footsteps of our founders who raped women, raped slaves, raped children, maimed immigrants, sold children, stole property, broke promises, broke apart families, killed natives... You know, good God fearing down home Christian folk! :/

  4. Who gives a rats behind about all the fluffy ranking nonsense. What students having to pay off debt need to know is that all schools aren't created equal and students from many schools don't have a snowball's chance of getting a decent paying job straight out of law school. Their lowly ranked lawschool won't tell them that though. When schools start honestly (accurately) reporting *those numbers, things will get interesting real quick, and the looks on student's faces will be priceless!

  5. Whilst it may be true that Judges and Justices enjoy such freedom of time and effort, it certainly does not hold true for the average working person. To say that one must 1) take a day or a half day off work every 3 months, 2) gather a list of information including recent photographs, and 3) set up a time that is convenient for the local sheriff or other such office to complete the registry is more than a bit near-sighted. This may be procedural, and hence, in the near-sighted minds of the court, not 'punishment,' but it is in fact 'punishment.' The local sheriffs probably feel a little punished too by the overwork. Registries serve to punish the offender whilst simultaneously providing the public at large with a false sense of security. The false sense of security is dangerous to the public who may not exercise due diligence by thinking there are no offenders in their locale. In fact, the registry only informs them of those who have been convicted.

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