Mark Schand, a Black man from Connecticut who spent 27 years in prison after being wrongfully convicted of a crime he did not commit, was recently awarded $27 million to compensate for every year he was imprisoned.
Schand was then-21-years old when he was sentenced to life without parole after being convicted of shooting and killing Victoria Seymour, a mother of three, during a robbery of a drug dealer outside a club in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1986.
Schand, who was then pegged as a “troublemaker”, was apparently targeted by local detectives who allegedly “showed a photo of Schand wearing sunglasses to one of the drug dealers and told him that Schand ‘had shot Ms. Seymour’,” according to his lawsuit.
Brothers David and Charles “Heavy” Stokes, who were the drug dealers and two of the witnesses, identified Schand as the gunman. Years later, they and the other witnesses who testified that he is the gunman changed their statements and said that the detectives had coerced them into lying.
Schand’s case has reached to Centurion Ministries, a New Jersey-based nonprofit that helps release those who have been wrongfully convicted, and helped find new evidence in his case.
He was officially exonerated in 2013 and his conviction was overturned. The state, however, did not apologize and admit any wrongdoing. They only initially agreed to pay him $450,000.
After two years, he filed a lawsuit against the city of Springfield and the four police officers whom he claimed violated his constitutional rights for framing him for the crime he did not commit which landed him in jail. In his complaint, Schand accused the police of hiding evidence, coercing the witnesses to lie, and manipulating the photo lineups of suspects.
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Source: Black News