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Detroit City Council approves $16 million payout for wrongfully convicted men

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Posted at 10:22 PM, Nov 14, 2022

DETROIT (WXYZ) — More massive settlements by the city of Detroit are being paid out to men wrongfully convicted of murder. In the last two weeks, two men received a total of $16 million after serving 20 years in prison for a crime they didn’t commit.

“I got incarcerated in like 1999, at like 24. Really I missed out on life, possibilities of experiencing something different in life. Having children.” says Justly Johnson. He adds, “Birthdays. Seeing my nephews born. It was a lot.”

Attorney Wolf Mueller specializes in wrongful conviction cases. He says “It’s not about money, it’s a measure of saying I’m sorry. How can we make it right?

Detroit has paid out close to $25 million in the last couple years. In the case of Justly and Kendrick Scott, 8 million each from the general fund.

City Councilman Coleman Young Junior is also weighing in on this most recent case of a 1999 wrongful conviction for murder.

“Very concerned. We have had discussion about what’s upcoming and these cases,” says Young Jr.

He says at this point a separate fund hasn’t been created to compensate those wrongfully convicted in court. However, he says the city must be prepared to pay for additional cases.