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Wrongly convicted man seeks settlement, pardon

Posted December 30, 2009

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— The family of a Durham man who spent nearly a third of his life in prison after being wrongly convicted of a crime wants Gov. Beverly Perdue to pardon him and Durham to pay for his arrest.

Erick Daniels was convicted in December 2001 of robbing a house on North Hoover Street. Although he was 15 at the time, he was tried as an adult and sent to prison because he already had an extensive juvenile record.

Court Gavel Scales of Justice Family: Settlement will make up for prison time

Daniels was released in September 2008 after a Superior Court judge ruled that the case against him was flawed. Police presented a witness with a middle school yearbook to use for a photo lineup.

His family now wants to reach a financial settlement with the city to avoid filing a wrongful arrest lawsuit. They also want Perdue to issue a formal pardon to clear his name.

"They knew my son was not a robber," said Karen Daniel, who charged her surname several years ago. "The city government has maliciously taken away my child's life."

Attorney Daron Satterfield said the family has obtained paperwork they believe proves Durham police and prosecutors also withheld evidence in the case that would have helped Daniels during his trial.

"We're not trying to lean on the city. We're trying to get the word out because, as stated, we want to ensure that no child in Durham has to endure what Erick endured," Satterfield said. "Nobody on this planet can give Erick those seven years back.. (Money is) the only way he can be wholly and fully compensated for the time he spent in jail. He can't get it back."

The Durham City Attorney's Office declined to comment Wednesday on Daniels' case or a potential lawsuit. Durham police also declined to comment.

The city is defending itself and the police department against a similar lawsuit filed by three former Duke University lacrosse players . They were charged in 2006 with sexually assaulting a stripper at a team party, but the charges were later dropped.

Daniels was arrested three weeks ago in Durham and charged with carrying a concealed weapon and drug possession. He's expected to be in court for that case in early January.

61 Comments

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  • jockeyshiftspringer Jan 1, 2010

    manofjustice, you been smoking crack?

  • manofjustice Dec 31, 2009

    Instead of insulting this nice handsome young man you all should be trying to help him. He needs a job to support him and his moma. This is a good man. Please don't bad mouth his name. It would hurt his moma. We should pray for him and send him and his family money. We should give him our tithings. I will go see him Sunday sing in the choir and I will cheer him on. Bless him O'Lord for he is a child.

  • crustyhalo Dec 31, 2009

    orionsteve.....who are you fooling ? Not us !

  • crustyhalo Dec 31, 2009

    Geez, clearly this young person is a criminal and now because of "flaws" in the case,he is automatically assumed innocent. Give me a break.....an extensive juvenile record.....where was his family when he was younger and getting arrested ? Just another sorry bunch of useless citizens,who probably live off the system already trying to get something else for free.

  • commonsense99 Dec 31, 2009

    "Although he was 15 at the time, he was tried as an adult and sent to prison because he already had an extensive juvenile record."

    But this "time" it wasn't my baby boy!!! Honestly Your Honor, he didn't do it this time.

    Evidence was flawed. Doesn't mean he didn't do the crime. The evidence was thrown out. Before giving this loser a dime, I am all for a re-trial. If he is truly innocent then he has nothing to worry about

  • beachboater Dec 31, 2009

    Wildcat - your posts give me the following insights......... 1)you do not pay any taxes 2) you may be the mother / father / brother / sister or some other kin to Daniels 3)You were his accomplice in the robbery 4)You will benefit from anything he may receive. 5) You are a racist and in favor of him simply because he is black.

    Now which is it?

    BTW, you sound alarmingly like a former poster here by the name of dataclerk.

  • bill0 Dec 31, 2009

    If he was wrongfully convicted and the police/prosecutor withheld evidence at his trial, then he should be compensated for the time spent in jail due to the wrongful conviction. You can only punish someone for the crime they were charged with, not things you think they might have gotten away with earlier.

    After that, if he has committed new crimes, he should be tried for those and sentenced accordingly.

  • orionsteve Dec 31, 2009

    Fatchanceimwrong - I couldn't agree more. Well stated."

    I agree with most of it as well. I would venture a "guess" that 90% of black mothers raise their kids alone or with the help of family. But most certainly do not lack parenting skills, in fact I find them to be very strong parents (strong in the sense of parenting skills) I know several black mothers and like every parent, they want the best for their kids and they work very hard. The problems come in when they are working, the kids get in trouble because of the lack of supervision. It is tough being a single parent for sure.

  • brucem Dec 31, 2009

    he should get nothing.. nothing .... nothing,,!!!!

  • bestmom Dec 31, 2009

    wildcat....this man is not so "innocent" if he already had a extensive juvenile record at the age of 15 and is already back in jail, which is where he belongs.

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