After 21 Years in Prison, Freed Inmate Sues San Francisco

April 19, 2012

A man who served 21 years in prison before his murder conviction was overturned is suing San Francisco.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that 44-year-old Maurice Caldwell filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city Monday. He claims police built a case against him based on an unreliable witness.

The suit seeks unspecified damages and names the city and several police officers as defendants.

Caldwell was sentenced to 27 years to life in prison for a 1990 drug-related killing in San Francisco.

A judge set aside Caldwell’s conviction after legal advocates argued he had ineffective counsel during his trial.

The judge ordered a new trial, but later ruled that Caldwell couldn’t be tried again because evidence in the case had been destroyed. He was released last year.

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