Nevada man whose murder conviction was dismissed awarded $2.25 million

A Las Vegas man who was wrongfully convicted in a 1994 murder and freed from prison in 2017 after more than 22 years behind bars has been granted a certificate of his innocence and approved to receive $2.25 million in damages.

The Nevada Attorney General's Office on Wednesday said DeMarlo Berry is the first person to receive a certificate of his innocence and compensation for wrongful imprisonment under a new state law passed last year.

Berry testified in favor of the bill during the legislative debate.

Attorney General Aaron Ford said in a statement that he was inspired by Berry, who used his experience to make a change "creating a lasting difference in the lives of unjustly incarcerated individuals in Nevada."

Berry's conviction was dismissed after a Las Vegas man named Steven Jackson, already serving a life sentence for a separate murder, confessed to the crime for which Berry was convicted. Berry's legal team also found a former jailhouse informant who recanted his trial testimony that Berry told him he had killed restaurant manager Charles Burkes.

Berry's financial award is set to get final approval from the state Board of Examiners, made of up Ford, Gov. Steve Sisolak and Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske at an Aug. 11 meeting.


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