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New York Prisoner Wins Brutality Suit, Loses Award to Son-of-Sam Law

A New York prisoner won $15,000 in a suit over having been beaten by prison guards only to have a jury return a $42 million adverse verdict under New Yorks Son-of-Sam law.

Abdul Majid, 57, a New York state prisoner was convicted of killing New York City police officer John Scarangella in 1981. Majid was formerly known as Anthony LaBorde and was convicted along with another member of the Black Panthers of shooting Scarangella and his partner, Richard Rainey, during a traffic stop in Queens.

Prison guards roughed up Majid, who sued and won an award of $15,000. This prompted Rainey, 57, and Scarangellas family to sue Majid under New Yorks Son-of-Sam law. On May 29, 2006, after eight hours of deliberation, a jury in Poughkeepsie awarded Rainey $25 million and awarded Scarangellas widow, Vivian $17 million. Although the plaintiffs are unlikely to see much of the award, they expressed their pleasure at depriving Majid of his award.

He doesnt deserve anything, said Scarangellas son, Tom, 33. He deserves to spend his life in jail--and thats it.

The most disturbing aspect of this development is that it takes away from prisoners any monetary incentive to pursue legal action against guards who brutalize them.

Source: New York Daily News.

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