Wanted: $360 Million Prison Payback - NBC Chicago

Wanted: $360 Million Prison Payback

Lawsuit alleges ex-death row inmate convicted on not credible testimony



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    Philanthropist and investor Alberto Vilar was sentenced today to nine years in prison.

    An acquitted death row inmate wants a $360 million payback for his prison sentence.

    Nathson E. Fields, who spent almost 18 years behind bars, filed a federal lawsuit in U.S. District Court Monday. The former gang member alleges he was falsely arrested, indicted and convicted for the 1984 murders of two people on the South Side, the Sun-Times reports.

    A judge found Fields not guilty in his re-trial after discrediting several witnesses, including Fields' original co-defendant, admitted murderer Earl Hawkins, who accepted a deal to testify against him.

    "I feel like my prayers have been answered," Fields told the Sun-Times after his acquittal. "It's like a dream."

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    But $363 million would make it even better.

    Fields is suing 38 defendants, including the City of Chicago, Mayor Daley, former and current Chicago Police officers, former and current Cook County prosecutors and 100 John Does.

    The suit alleges the group collaborated to sentence him for crimes he didn't commit. It claims Fields didn't match the description of the gunmen. In 1985, a witness allegedly told investigators the gunmen were in their 20s with a light complexion. But Fields was 31-years-old with a dark complexion.

    Fields is seeking more than $360 million in damages and attorneys' fees, but no lawyer is listed on the suit.

    Maybe that's because he'll have a better chance winning the lottery than this case. 

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