Long Beach Wrongful Conviction: Man Wrongly Jailed for 24-years Settles for $8M
08/13/2010 // WPB, FL, USA // Personal Injury Lawyers News // Nicole Howley
Long Beach, CA—An $8 million wrongful conviction settlement has been reached between the city of Long Beach, and a man who was wrongly jailed for 24 years for a murder conviction that was largely based on a testimony by an incredible jailhouse informant, as reported by the Los Angeles Times.
Thomas L. Goldstein, a Marine Corps veteran, was convicted of a shotgun slaying of John McGinest in 1979; after Edward Fink, the informant, testified that Goldstein confessed to the shooting while he and Fink were in the Long Beach Jail.
Twenty-four years later, a judge overturned the conviction after concerns were raised over Fink’s credibility. Apparently the prosecutors failed to inform Goldstein’s attorney that they had previously struck a deal with Fink in another case.
Goldstein was released from jail in 2004, and subsequently sued the Los Angeles County prosecutors who were involved in the case. The lawsuit asserted that officials routinely used jailhouse informants without confirming that they were telling the truth. Last year the U.S. Supreme Court dismissed the lawsuit, stating the district attorneys are immune from wrongful conviction suits.
Goldstein also sued the city of Long Beach, who settled with him on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 for $8 million. Goldstein’s attorney stated, “The information the authorities suppressed would have led to his acquittal. Their conduct resulted in Tom spending 24 years in prison, years he can never recover.”
Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for California civil rights and wrongful conviction lawyers.