A woman fired from a Nevada jail in 2015 – after being imprisoned for more than three decades for a murder she did not commit – received $ 3 million for a partial settlement of a civil rights lawsuit awarded. her lawyer said on Wednesday.
68-year-old Cathy Woods claimed damages from the city of Reno and former police investigators who accused her of confessing her in 1979 when she was a patient in a mental hospital in Louisiana.
Woods spent 35 years in prison over the murder of Michelle Mitchell in 1976, a second employee at the University of Nevada, Reno. DNA evidence collected from a cigarette butt found on the scene finally relieved her. She lives since then in the US state of Washington.
"Although no amount of money will compensate Ms. Woods for what she endured, it will at least help to take care of her," said her lawyer Elizabeth Wang.
Wang said Woods was psychotic. and that detectives should never interrogate them. Woods was a bartender when Mitchell was killed and later moved to Louisiana. Her mother committed her to a psychiatric clinic where Woods told a co-worker about the murder.
Nevada's Supreme Court overturned her conviction in 1980, but she was re-sentenced in 1984 in a second trial.
A judge overturned the 2014 conviction after DNA testing linked prisoner Rodney Halbower in Oregon with the crime. He has since been convicted of two murders in the San Francisco area occurred during the same period as the murder of Mitchell.
Woods was the longest reigning woman, who was falsely convicted and then released, according to the National Registry of Exonerations.  03] The Washoe County Commission voted 4-0 for $ 3 million on Tuesday to settle some of their lawsuit. Former District Attorney Cal Dunlap was named as a defendant in the lawsuit.
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"The sentencing and subsequent imprisonment of Woods for murder is a tragic situation that Washoe's hopes of the county are never repeated," said The county in a statement. "While money can rarely compensate a man for the loss of liberty, Washoe County sincerely hopes that this financial agreement will be used for the best possible care of Woods."
The Associated Press has contributed to this report rt.