A North Carolina man who spent 23 years in prison for a double-murder was recently awarded $6 million by a federal jury after it found a detective fabricated evidence and improperly handled the investigation that led to his convictions.
According to the Associated Press, Darryl Howard was sentenced to 80 years in prison in 1995 after he was found guilty of killing a woman and her daughter in 1991. But the jury, on December 1, found former Durham police detective Darryl Dowdy made up the evidence that led to his ultimate convictions.
In 2016, Howard’s prison sentence was vacated by a Durham County judge on the grounds of police and prosecutorial misconduct. Howard filed a federal civil rights lawsuit the following year alleging he was wrongfully convicted because of the actions of Dowdy, the city of Durham, and others.
Howard’s attorneys had wanted $48 million in damages. And though the plaintiff and one of his attorneys commended the jury for finding Dowdy’s actions led to his wrongful conviction, they said they were expecting an amount that was closer to what they wanted, the Associated Press reported.
Dowdy denies any wrongdoing. The retired cop’s attorney also said that they welcome the jury’s decision but don’t agree with its findings.
“I am happy about the verdict, but I am kind of upset about the damages,” Howard told The News & Observer. Asked if he felt justice had been served, Howard told the news outlet, “No, to be honest with you, but it is what it is.”