There is perhaps no worse act a member of law enforcement can commit than to fabricate evidence during a criminal case. When fake evidence is used, and innocent people are locked behind bars, the individuals responsible should be held accountable for their actions.
A recent court ruling underpins individuals’ rights to take action against those individuals who use falsified evidence to secure a conviction, no matter how long ago they may have acted.
According to reporting from the Associated Press, a federal judge granted the ability for Desmond Ricks to pursue legal action against the city of Detroit and the police who arrested him. Mr. Ricks has alleged that the Detroit police officers used falsified evidence to frame him for the murder of his friend.
25 years in prison for a crime he did not commit
Mr. Ricks was initially imprisoned in 1992 and spent 25 years in prison for a crime he did not commit.
The only evidence that the police had back in 1992 was a firearm that they recovered from Mr. Ricks’s mother’s home. At the time, the evidence technician believed the bullets were “too pristine” to have been extracted from a body.
Michigan Police reviewed the bullets again a few years ago and confirmed that the bullets did not match the gun that his mother owned. Based on the new evidence, Mr. Ricks was released from prison in 2017.
Federal judge permits lawsuit against police officers responsible
Under Michigan’s wrongful conviction laws, individuals wrongfully imprisoned are entitled to receive $50,000 per year incarcerated. He is, therefore, entitled to receive approximately $1.25 million, as well as reimbursement for attorney fees and correctional fines.
In addition to those payments, he is also now pursuing a $125 million lawsuit against the city of Detroit and police officers who he alleges fabricated evidence. The argument from the police officers is that they had immunity from the suit since they have retired from the police force.
U.S. District Judge Paul Borman ruled that these individuals do not have immunity in the case. Desmond Ricks can obtain financial compensation through a trial case or via financial settlement. The ruling is a positive one, and it underscores individuals’ rights to take action against those entities who cause them harm.