Federal jury awards $5M in lawsuit over conviction based on evidence from Houston crime lab

Jury awards man $5M in lawsuit over prison time

HOUSTON — A federal jury has awarded $5 million to a Houston man who spent 17 years in prison on kidnapping and rape charges that were overturned in 2005.

Forty-eight-year-old George Rodriguez sued after being convicted in 1987 based on evidence from the troubled Houston Police Department crime lab that was later discredited.

His lawyers argued that city officials were deliberately indifferent to a lack of supervision at the crime lab that created a risk that an innocent person could be convicted.

The city argued that Rodriguez’s conviction was the result of false testimony given by a former crime lab manager and was not the fault of the city.

The Houston Chronicle reports that Rodriguez says he’s satisfied with Thursday’s verdict.


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