Million Per Year
From El Diario
July 12, 2002
By Gloria Medina
The new lawyer for Angelo Martínez, who had been wrongly
convicted of a crime he did not commit, reported that his client
is suing the state of New York for $50 million for unjustly sentencing
him to 25 years in prison.
"The lawsuit asks that the sentence be reduced so that Martínez
may be released immediately," said Oscar Michelen, the defense
attorney. (Martinez was released July 22.)
The lawsuit was filed in state court on June 24, eleven days after
Judge Steven Fisher dropped the charges against Martínez
and almost one year after the district attorneys office reopened
Martínez, who is now 36 years old, was convicted of fatally
shooting 70-year-old Rudolph Marasco on April 10, 1985 and sentenced
to 25 years in prison.
While Martínez was serving his prison term, Charles Rivera,
a federal inmate who was under the witness protection program, confessed
in 1991 to killing Marasco as a favor for another person. But the
authorities ignored his statement when he failed a lie detector
In 1993, Martínez was indicted for distributing drugs within
the correctional facility and sentenced to an additional 292 months
in jail, to be completed after he finished his earlier term. Although
Martínez was exonerated of the murder charge on June 13 of
this year, he was held on the federal drug charges until July.
According to court papers, Martínez said he had been found
guilty on false evidence, and neither his initial defense attorney
nor the district attorneys office made an effort to undo the
injustice after the real murderer had confessed.
"We are not saying that the district attorneys office
withheld evidence or unjustly caused this conviction," said
Michelen. "But we are saying that the D.A.s office could
have done more with the information they had."
Translated from Spanish by Naomi Lim
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