Thursday, August 29, 2019

Woman who spent 35 years in prison for murder she didn't commit to get $3m

A woman who spent 35 years in prison for a murder she didn't commit will get $3 million in a partial settlement of a federal civil rights lawsuit, her lawyer said Wednesday.

Cathy Woods, 68, will continue to seek additional damages from the city of Reno and former detectives she accuses of coercing a fabricated confession from her while she was a patient at a Louisiana mental hospital in 1979, according to her lawyer, Elizabeth Wang.

Woods was released from prison in 2015 when new evidence linked the 1976 killing of a Reno college student to an Oregon inmate, Rodney Halbower, who has since has been convicted of two San Francisco Bay Area slayings that happened during the same period. The DNA was taken from a cigarette butt found at the scene.

Woods, who now lives with relatives near the city of Anacortes, Washington, was the longest-ever wrongfully incarcerated woman in U.S. history, according to the National Registry of Exonerations.

'Although no amount of money will compensate Ms. Woods for what she endured, this will go at least some way toward providing care for her,' Wang said.