A federal appeals court has upheld a landmark verdict for four men framed by the FBI in a gangland slaying, reports the Boston Globe. The judges said a $101.7 million damage judgment awarded by a lower court was “at the outer edge of the universe of permissible awards.'' The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit said the award to the families of Peter J. Limone, Joseph Salvati, Louis Greco, and Henry Tameleo, believed to be the largest of its kind nationally, was considerably higher than any of the three appellate judges would have ordered.
“But when we take into account the severe emotional trauma inflicted upon the scapegoats,'' the appeals court wrote of the wrongly imprisoned men, “we cannot say with any firm conviction that those awards are grossly disproportionate to the injuries sustained.'' Limone, now 75, spent more than 33 years in prison as a result of his wrongful conviction in the 1965 murder. Salvati, now 76, was in prison for more than 29 years. Greco and Tameleo died in prison after decades of imprisonment. Judge Nancy Gertner concluded in after a 22-day bench trial in 2007 that the FBI deliberately withheld evidence of the four men's innocence and helped hide the injustice for decades.