Michael Green, who was freed in Texas after serving 27 years in prison for a rape he did’t commit, is pondering whether to take a $2.2 million compensation payment from the state or file a civil lawsuit in the hope of exposing the truth about the investigation that led to his incarceration, says the New York Times. To receive the compensation, he must waive the right to sue. “What I really need to do is to make them pay for what they done to me,” he says. “Two-point-two million dollars is nothing when it comes to 27 years of my life, which I spent with mental torture and physical abuse.”
Green, 45, was set free by a judge two weeks ago after DNA tests on the rape victim's clothing proved that he could not have been responsible for the crime. The story of his imprisonment and how prosecutor Alicia O'Neill eventually unearthed biological evidence that led to the real culprits throws a harsh spotlight on an uncomfortable justice-system reality: the identification of a suspect in a lineup or in an array of photos is not always reliable. More than three-quarters of the 258 people exonerated by DNA tests in the last decade were convicted on the strength of eyewitness identifications, says the Innocence Project. In Texas, identifications by eyewitnesses played a pivotal role in 80 percent of the 40 people who have been exonerated with DNA evidence.