Martin Tankleff, a Long Island man who served 17 years in prison for murdering his parents before a state appeals court vacated his conviction, will receive $3.4 millionunder a settlement of his wrongful imprisonment lawsuit, reports the New York Times. The settlement was another measure of vindication for Tankleff, whose life turned upside down in 1988, when he woke up on the morning he was supposed to begin his senior year in high school and discovered his father bleeding heavily in his home office. Tankleff, then 17, called 911, and by the time the authorities arrived, he discovered that his mother was also dead, bludgeoned and slashed.
Tankleff denied involvement in the murders and pointed to one of his father's business associates. During a long interrogation, Suffolk County detective K. James McCready told Tankleff that his father woke from a coma and accused his son of the murder. Tankleff signed a confession that he killed his parents during a blackout. He rescinded the confession but was convicted in 1990 of murdering his parents, He was released in 2007 after an appeals court vacated the conviction, saying he probably would not have been convicted if newly uncovered evidence had been presented to the jury in 1990. The settlement is the state's share of damages for his wrongful imprisonment. There is a separate civil rights lawsuit pending in federal court against Suffolk County and McCready.