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City Will Pay $9 Million to Men Wrongly Convicted of Lower East Side Murders

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Danny Colon.

The city of New York has agreed to pay $9 million to two men who were wrongly imprisoned in a drug-related double murder in 1989.

Danny Colon and Anthony Ortiz were convicted of killing two men in a drive-by shooting near East 4th Street and FDR Drive during the height of New York City’s drug wars. Their prosecutions were largely dependent on the testimony of Anibal Vera, who was arrested in 1990 on unrelated drug charges. In 2009, New York’s highest court ruled that the prosecutor in the case, Margaret J. Finerty, lied about her efforts to help Vera obtain a more lenient sentence. After 16 years in prison, Colon and Ortiz were set free.

They had filed  a lawsuit against the city, state and New York City Housing Authority.

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