A man who spent 28 years behind bars after being wrongfully convicted for murder has been awarded $13.2 million by a Washington D.C. judge.
Santae Tribble, 55, was exonerated in 2012 after a DNA analysis discredited a previous forensic hair analysis that led to his conviction in the 1978 killing of a D.C. taxi driver.
Tribble was awarded $400,000 for every year that he was held in prison, as well as $100,000 a year ranging from the year of his release to 2019. He is not expected to live past then, due to health complications.
This is the third case in the District of Columbia where hair analysis has led to a wrongfully convicted person receiving an award in the millions, leading to a federal review where the Justice Department revealed that forensic hair evidence was overstated by the FBI in nearly all cases before 2000.
John Mott, the D.C. Superior Court Judge who presided in the case, wrote that “Mr. Tribble’s ordeal did not merely deprive him of his liberty in a constitutional sense — it ruined his life, leaving him broken in body and spirit and, quite literally, dying”.