Darryl Howard was convicted in the killing of a mother and daughter in 1991.
New DNA evidence suggested that he wasn’t responsible, The News & Observer reported.
Howard was released in 2016 and will receive $6 million, which his attorney said “is not nearly enough.”
A federal jury found last Wednesday that a 58-year-old Black man spent 23 years in prison for a wrongful murder conviction, awarding him $6 million in damages, the Associated Press reported.
In 1995, Darryl Howard was sentenced to 80 years in prison for the 1991 killings of 29-year-old Doris Washington and her 13-year-old daughter, Nishonda. He was found guilty of arson and two counts of second-degree murder.
Howard’s conviction was vacated on August 31, 2016, when a Durham County judge acknowledged the presence of misconduct among authorities, according to the AP. He was granted a pardon of innocence by Governor Roy in April, according to WTVD-TV.
In 2017, he filed a federal civil rights suit arguing that former Durham police detective Darell Dowdy, the city, and others led to his wrongful conviction.
In the lawsuit, Howard’s attorneys argued that new evidence proved that Howard wasn’t involved, according to court documents.
New evidence — including a tear in Washington’s genitalia and semen in Nishonda’s genitalia — showed that Washington and her daughter were sexually assaulted, according to The News & Observer. They were found face down on a bed in their apartment that was set ablaze.
Washington’s suspected cause of death was a blow to a chest, and her daughter’s was strangulation, the Raleigh outlet reported.
Howard’s attorneys also argued that detective Dowdy tampered with the evidence. Last month, a jury in North Carolina found Dowdy fabricated evidence that played a role in Howard’s conviction, according to The Charlotte Observer. Dowdy denied that he did so.
WRAL reported that Howard’s attorneys argued that Dowdy shared information about the double murder to informants ahead of time in an effort to incriminate Howard.
“We have confidence in the investigation Detective Dowdy conducted,” Dowdy’s attorney Nick Ellis said, citing the WRAL report.
On December 1, the North Carolina jury awarded Howard $6 million in damages.
“I am happy about the verdict, but I am kind of upset about the damages,” Howard told the local news outlet.
When asked by a reporter for The News & Observer if he felt justice had been served, Howard said he didn’t.
“No, to be honest with you, but it is what it is,” he said.
His legal team previously asked for a total of about $48 million, according to the AP.
“It’s a huge number,” Emma Freudenberger, an attorney on Howard’s legal team, told the jury. “And you know what? It is not nearly enough.”
Howard’s and Dowdy’s legal teams did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
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