Chester Hollman, spent 28 years in prison after wrongful conviction, to get $9.8M from Philly

Chester Hollman was exonerated and released in 2019.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A man who spent 28 years behind bars for a crime he did not commit will receive $9.8 million.

Chester Hollman reached the settlement with the City of Philadelphia on Wednesday.

Hollman was exonerated and released in 2019 after a key witness admitted to falsely implicating him in a 1991 murder.

"Having my freedom rightfully restored after 28 years is bittersweet, as many innocent people like myself spend decades in prison hoping and fighting simply to reveal the truth, and the few who do gain their freedom are left to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives," Hollman said in statement.

He continued, "There are no words to express what was taken from me, and no way to measure what I've lost, but this settlement closes out a difficult chapter in my life as my family and I now embark on a new one."

In the release sent out by the City of Philadelphia, officials said the settlement does not include an admission of liability by the city or its employees, "all involved parties are pleased to have reached this agreement and believe this result best serves the interests of justice."

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In July 2019, Hollman at age 49 received an apology in court for being wrongly charged and convicted.

The apology came from Patricia Cummings, the head of the Conviction Integrity Unit in the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office. The Unit did a 15-month reinvestigation of the case. Its findings found multiple problems. Among them, evidence discovered in police files indicated credible evidence that led to another likely suspect was suppressed.

After apologizing, Cummings said of Hollman, "He was failed, we failed the victims and failed the citizens of Philadelphia."

Mayor Jim Kenney released a statement on the settlement.

"This settlement reflects not only the fact that Mr. Hollman spent 28 years incarcerated before his exoneration, but Mr. Hollman's evident character and composure in the face of an unimaginably trying situation. My heart goes out to Mr. Hollman and his entire family," the mayor said, adding, "While there is no price for a person's liberty, I am encouraged to know that we have reached what I believe is a fair agreement that will allow Mr. Hollman and his family to begin building a future together. As has been evident in my time as Mayor for the City of Philadelphia, I am deeply committed to ensuring that justice is served. This commitment is not just for Mr. Hollman, but for all individuals who encounter our criminal justice system."

SEE ALSO: 2 men convicted of murder in separate cases exonerated in same week
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2 men convicted of murder in separate cases exonerated this week. Annie McCormick has more on Action News at 6 p.m. on July 31, 2019.

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