Five men awarded $9 million after years in jail for crimes they didn’t commit

Five men who were wrongly imprisoned for a combined 120 years will receive a total of about $9 million in compensation, a Maryland board decided Wednesday.

The Maryland Board of Public Works voted 3-0 for the compensation. In what amounts to the largest amount ever paid to an exoneree in the state, one man who was imprisoned for 38 years on an erroneous murder conviction will receive about $3 million.

Four of the men are black and one is white. Their cases are not connected to each other, although at least four of them involved instances of faulty witnesses.

“I just want to thank those men, acknowledge the sacrifice that they made, hope that they understand that this is their community’s way of recognizing that not only were they innocent, but they were terribly, terribly wronged, and I apologize,” said Treasurer Nancy Kopp, one of the board’s three members.

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