Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Jurors Give $5M To Rodriguez

Time for a little quick math. 5 million for 17 years of Mr. Rodriguez's life. Figure 15% of that will go to taxes -- that is $750,000. That leaves $4,250,000. Figure 30% for attorneys fees. That comes out to 1,275,000. That leaves $2,975,000. That comes out to $175,000 a year, for those 17 years.

City attorneys wanted to pay $760,000. That comes out to just $44,705 before taxes, attorneys fees and court costs. For those in the Houston area, at least now you know what the city attorneys think your life is worth.

Why do I have the feeling that Mr. Rodriguez would trade it all to have that time back to be with his family?

George Rodriguez Sues For Wrongful Imprisonment

HOUSTON -- A jury reached a verdict on Thursday in the case of a man who spent 17 years in prison for a rape he did not commit and sued the city of Houston for millions, KPRC Local 2 reported.

George Rodriguez was sent to prison for raping a child in 1987 based on false evidence supplied by the HPD crime lab. He was released in 2004 after DNA testing proved his innocence.

He sued the city of Houston for $35 million in damages. Jurors reached a verdict that gave him $5 million.

Jurors began deliberations Tuesday afternoon. They sent out a note at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday saying they were unable to agree on a key question in the case.

Judge Vanessa Gilmore urged them to continue to try and reach a verdict.

Deliberations resumed Thursday at 9 a.m. The panel reached the verdict shortly after 4 p.m.

Rodriguez said he lost 17 years with his family.

"I feel great. I feel good this is over with. I'm glad that it's over with. Now I can try to get back with my family, try to make their dreams come true, try to be the best father I can right now," Rodriguez said.

Attorneys for the city agreed that Rodriguez should be compensated for his ordeal. They suggested damages closer to $760,000.