The Los Angeles County Council yesterday agreed to pay more than $24 million to settle lawsuits by two men who alleged that investigations by dishonest Los Angeles police detectives led to their wrongful murder convictions and caused them to spend decades behind bars, reports the Los Angeles Times. Kash Delano Register, who won his freedom in 2013 after lawyers and students from Loyola Law School cast doubt on the testimony of a key prosecution witness, will get $16.7 million, the largest settlement in an individual civil rights case in the city's history, his attorneys said. Bruce Lisker, released from prison in 2009 after a Times investigation into his conviction, will get $7.6 million.
Though the cases were unrelated, both men contended that detectives ignored evidence of their innocence and fabricated evidence of their guilt. City lawyers concerned about the police misconduct allegations recommended the settlements, saying in confidential memos to the City Council that taking the cases to trial could be even more financially devastating. “This is an extremely dangerous case,” city attorneys wrote of the Lisker case. Register's case was even “more problematic,” they said. “Today’s action helps make amends for the many years these men will never get back, and for lives that will never be the same,” said Rob Wilcox, a spokesman for City Attorney Mike Feuer.