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Cleared Ex-Prisoner Wins $9.75 Million Payout After Spending Nearly 30 Years In Jail For A Crime He Did Not Commit

Mark Denny spent 30 years in prison after being wrongfully convicted of robbery and rape.

When he was just 17 years old, Denny was accused of being one of four men involved in the robbery of a Brooklyn Burger King. 

An 18-year-old female member of staff was raped during the incident. 

Denny was convicted by jury in February 1989 and sentenced to 57 years in prison.

Cleared Ex-Prisoner Wins $9.75 Million Payout After Spending Nearly 30 Years In Jail For A Crime He Did Not Commit
Innocence Project

It wasn’t until 2017, after spending three decades after the crime, investigators concluded that he couldn’t have been there. 

According to records obtained by the NY Post, the city of New York settled with Denny for $9.75 million. It was after he agreed to not go ahead with a $50 million lawsuit against the city and the NYPD. The suit would have accused the department of framing him.

The New York City Comptroller’s spokesman Scott Stringer admitted to the NY Post that it was in the city’s best interest to settle.

The exonerated man presented the city with a claim notice in 2018. He claimed his imprisonment led to “physical and emotional pain,” “physical sickness” and the breakdown of family relationships. 

Cleared Ex-Prisoner Wins $9.75 Million Payout After Spending Nearly 30 Years In Jail For A Crime He Did Not Commit

NBC New York

While in prison, Denny maintained his innocence. He insisted investigating officers in 1987 fabricated evidence and refused to follow other leads.

Denny also claimed police failed to gather forensic evidence from the crime scene. The rape victim was blindfolded during the assault and failed to identify Denny.

But she later identified him in an ID parade – which Denny insists the NYPD put pressure forced her to say. 

In a statement the Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said in 2017:

“After a lengthy and extensive investigation into this horrific case, I have concluded that the cause of justice requires that we vacate the conviction of Mr. Denny. Expert analysis of his identification, an examination of the rest of the evidence and multiple accounts from witnesses and co-defendants all indicate that he was not present when this terrible crime was committed exactly 30 years ago.”

Speaking after his release in 2017, Denny said: “Prison was an ugly experience for me. I almost lost myself. Now I’m a free man. This type of justice is needed, I appreciate everything that everyone has done.”

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Written by Christine Haveford

Christine loves all things cinema, and she's been that way ever since she was a little girl. In fact, she is so passionate about cinema that she decided to pursue cinematography as a full-time career, and is now pursuing film studies at the New York Film School. Originally from Florida, she is still exploring the new city, people, places, and the culture, loves the new weather, going ice skating during winters, and spending time with her fellow classmates and friends from college.

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