Mistrial in Nebraska wrongful convictions lawsuit

Jan 31, 2014

(Information in the following story is from: Lincoln Journal Star,

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A federal judge has declared a mistrial in a civil rights lawsuit seeking damages for six people wrongly convicted in a 1985 Nebraska murder.

The Lincoln Journal Star reports that U.S. District Court Judge Richard Kopf declared the mistrial Thursday, after three days of jury deliberation following a three-week trial.

Six of the 12 jurors told the judge that they were unlikely to reach a verdict.

James Dean, Kathleen Gonzalez, Debra Shelden, Ada JoAnn Taylor, Joseph White and Thomas Winslow served a combined 77 years in prison before DNA testing exonerated them in 2008. The estate of White, who died in 2011, and the surviving five sought at least $14 million in damages, saying their civil rights were violated and that they were coerced into damaging statements.

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