The price of wrongful conviction: $2 million

Claude McCollum, who spent more than two years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit, has settled his wrongful-conviction suit for $2 million, according to a report in this morning’s Lansing State Journal.

McCollum was convicted four years ago of murdering a Lansing Community College professor in a classroom. Video evidence that showed him sleeping in another part of the campus when the murder occurred never made it to the jury. Later, another man confessed to the murder.

After McCollum was released from prison, he celebrated his freedom by suing everyone who had anything to do with his arrest and conviction. See, The Michigan Lawyer, Will patience pay off in civil suit against prosecutors and police?

Most defendants were dismissed from the case. From the LSJ:

The settlement, reached late Tuesday, brings an end to two and a half years of litigation that eventually centered on whether Lansing Community College police Detective Rodney Bahl hid evidence of McCollum’s innocence.

Three attorneys, Hugh Clarke, Jr., Thomas Wuori and E. Thomas McCarthy, represented McCollum in the civil suit.

They’ve structured the settlement to be paid out over a number of years. Says Clarke in the LSJ:

We have taken all the steps we can to protect him from any of the vultures and con-artists.

Don’t even apply – it’s locked up, it’s not there, and he won’t have it.

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At least she wasn’t on Oceanic Flight 815

Attorney Geoffrey Fieger has filed a four-count lawsuit for negligence, false imprisonment, emotional distress and breach of contract, after his client, Ginger McGuire of Ferndale, was locked on an airplane for four hours after it landed.

The Detroit News reports:

[McGuire] flew Monday on a trip for an accounting training session that began in Detroit and ended in Philadelphia. During her travels, she was shuttled to Dulles Airport in Washington, D.C., before heading to Philadelphia, where she was left stranded on the airplane after landing.

McGuire said she was exhausted from traveling and fell asleep as soon as she took her seat on the Philadelphia-bound Trans States airplane — Trans States works in conjunction with United Airlines. She was not taking medication and did not have any alcohol to drink.

McGuire woke up at 3:50 a.m. and found herself alone on the 50-seat plane.

McGuire said she walked up and down the aisle for 15 minutes. She said she panicked and didn’t think of calling for help.

“Then the door to the airplane opened and two Philadelphia police officers were standing there with a TSA officer,” McGuire said. “They wouldn’t let me off the plane until I proved who I was. It was like, ‘Show us your ID, show us your ID.'”

Officials let her go after about 10 minutes. McGuire then checked into a local hotel.