Pittsburgh council OKs $3.8M conviction settlement

AP News
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Posted: Dec 28, 2009 5:04 PM

Pittsburgh City Council has approved a $3.77 million settlement with a man who spent 19 years in prison before his rape conviction was overturned by DNA evidence in 2005.

City attorneys didn't immediately return calls for comment on Monday's vote, but an attorney for the now-retired city detective who arrested 50-year-old Thomas Doswell in the 1986 rape says an out-of-court settlement was reached last month, subject to council's approval. Mayor Luke Ravenstahl must also approve it.

Doswell claimed in a 2007 lawsuit that the photo lineup was tainted because his mug shot was the only one marked with an "R," which was how Pittsburgh police at the time routinely marked rape suspects' photos. He had been arrested in a previous rape case but was acquitted.

Doswell's attorney confirmed the settlement, but otherwise declined comment.