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Unlawful Imprisonment Nets Ohio Man $25,000

In late 2000 ex-Ohio state prisoner Ricky Carter, 44, agreed to accept a $25,000 award to compensate him for being incarcerated over 13 months past his release date. Carter, who was due to be released March 15, 1998, was instead illegally held until April 28, 1999. Ohio prison official Joe Andrews attributed the error to the "large number of cases we handle."

Carter had been jailed at the Trumbull Correctional Institute (TCI) serving a 3-1/2 year sentence for drug abuse, theft and receiving stolen property. But instead of releasing the Cleveland man on his scheduled release date, TCI forced Carter to serve an extra 408 days, in part because Carter's release date was a "complex calculation," Andrews claimed, adding that Carter "had been in and then back out and then in again." The mixup was finally attributed to a "clerical error" made by an employee temporarily assigned to the prison's records office. The employee has since received "corrective counseling" for her error.

The $25,000 settlement was based on an Ohio law that entitles an innocent person wrongfully jailed to receive $25,000 for mental pain and suffering for each year of incarceration. Carter's attorney George Carr said, "The state did concede liability, which was a big victory for him because of his continuous efforts while he was in prison to try and get them . . . to admit they made a mistake, which they never did."

Source: The Cleveland Plain Dealer

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