United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit
Civil Rights — damages
Where the defendant was wrongfully imprisoned for three years because of due process violations, but the jury awarded only $15,000 in damages, a new trial is required.
“The court also allowed the backdoor admission of Thompson’s arrest record, which permitted the jury to infer that he was hardened to incarceration. And defense counsel improperly elicited testimony about the Suchocki indictment, leaving the indictment unexplained, and compounded the error by misstating ASA Murray’s testimony during closing argument. This left the jury with the unsubstantiated impression that the dismissal of the criminal case against Thompson was not indicative of his innocence. It also permitted the jury to infer that he was undeserving of substantial damages for more than three years of wrongful imprisonment.”
Reversed and Remanded.
Appeals from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Guzmán, J., Sykes, J.