8 Mar 2015

D.C. to pay $9.2 million in wrongful conviction: At 18, a young father was wrongfully convicted of raping & robbing a woman. He was raped repeatedly in prison and contracted HIV. He remained incarcerated for 20 years even after they found and convicted the actual criminal.

A D.C. Superior Court judge ordered the District government Friday to pay a record $9.2 million in damages to Kirk L. Odom, 52, who was wrongfully imprisoned for more than 22 years in the rape and robbery of a woman in her Capitol Hill apartment in 1981.
The amount, set by Judge Neal E. Kravitz, is the second — and largest — award in a case tried before a District judge under the District’s wrongful conviction law, which was approved in 1980. It also is one of the largest non-jury awards in an exoneration case in the United States.
“Mr. Odom spent more than twenty-two years of what should have been the prime of his adult life behind bars for a crime he did not commit,” Kravitz wrote in a 37-page opinion that recounted Odom’s “profound” physical and psychological suffering over the decades that included several prison rapes, his diagnosis with HIV — the virus that causes AIDS — suicide attempts, depression and family estrangement.
“It was readily apparent to the court at trial that Mr. Odom is only a shell of the young man he was at the time of his wrongful conviction, and only a shell of the grown man he would have become had he not been wrongly convicted and unjustly imprisoned,” Kravitz wrote.
In an interview , Odom, who was 18 at the time of the crime, said he welcomed word of the award from his attorneys, but added, “They can’t pay me enough money to give me back the years that I’ve lost.”
Odom, who lives in Southeast Washington with his wife of nearly 10 years, whom he met at an HIV support group, said he is attempting to reconnect with his adult daughter, born weeks before his original trial. “I’m just kind of continuing to move on with my life. It’s hard, but we’re working on it together, which is a good thing,” he said.
Odom’s case is among what are expected to be several civil claims against the District by former prisoners exonerated through DNA evidence.
The Washington Post has reported that Odom is one of five D.C. men convicted of rape or murder whose charges have been vacated since 2009 because they were based on erroneous forensics and testimony by an elite unit of FBI hair experts.
Odom was exonerated in July 2012 after DNA testing showed that he was innocent and that another man — a convicted sex offender — committed the crime for which he was tried and sentenced in 1982 and incarcerated until 2003.
Since December 2009, DNA results have cleared Donald E. Gates, then 58, of a rape and a murder for which he had spent 28 years in prison. D.C. Superior Court judges have also exonerated two other men, Santae A. Tribble and Kevin Martin.
Another murder conviction, that of Cleveland Wright, was vacated, and his attorneys with the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbiacontinue to ask the court to declare him innocent.
The ruling by Kravitz, appointed to the bench in 1998 by Bill Clinton, is the first time in two decades a prisoner’s claim under the D.C. Unjust Imprisonment Act has been decided by a judge at trial, and comes as courts around the country are coming to terms with how to respond to a growing number of DNA and other types of exonerations.


  1. But who the fuck will be paying?
    It should be all those: cops, prosecutor's team. judges, prison staff, responsible for what happened to this poor man.
    And they should, for the sake of justice, be, they themselves, raped until they die.

  2. David John Mowers8 March 2015 at 22:05

    Right on.

  3. And not a word about the apparently LYING BITCH who put him there? How about SHE picks up the tab, and then do HIS time???

  4. Agreed.... screw the 9 million. They took this kid's happy life and turned it into one of torture -- everyone involved, especially the lying witness should be strung up from a tree.

    The judge that sentenced him was probably a sadistic freak who was masturbating while he locked the kid up, knowing he'd be raped in there. He should be burned at the stake.

  5. Bill the eighth9 March 2015 at 06:41

    Funny you should mention that Jolly. I have heard numerous stories of tranny judges wearing nothing beneath their robes in court and masturbating while on the bench and hearing cases. Sick F____!

  6. Absolutely. Governmental Immunity must end. YOU are "accountable" for your actions but government slugs commit crime after crime and HIDE behind an OUT-DATED concept rooted in FEUDALISM that has no place ina Free Representative Republican Society.
    Government ACCOUNTABILITY is long overdue.