Ray McCann wins $14.5 million wrongful conviction verdict in Michigan

From left to right: attorney Russell Ainsworth, attorney Frank Newell, Ray McCann, attorney Rachel Brady, paralegal Christine Tran, paralegal Monica Fuentes, attorney Annie Prossnitz.

On September 19th, 2023, a Kalamazoo, MI jury awarded our client Ray McCann $14.5 million for his wrongful conviction, ruling that a Michigan State Police sergeant violated his constitutional rights. Ray was targeted and framed for a crime he did not commit.

“They can’t get away with something like this. They did me wrong, and they know they did,” McCann said. “I’m just glad it’s over.”

The seven-person jury on September 19th decided that Ray McCann Jr. was due $12.5 million in compensatory damages, plus $2 million in punitive damages to send a warning to other police officers that the tactics used against McCann were not acceptable. The $2 million in punitive damages ranks among the highest punitive damages awarded in a wrongful conviction case.

“[The verdict] sends the message that officers need to follow the law,” said one of McCann’s attorneys, Rachel Brady. “They can’t make up evidence, they can’t deprive people of their liberty without evidence…it sends the message that this has to stop.”

Ray McCann, once a reserve police officer, was wrongfully implicated in a homicide in Constantine, Michigan. Despite no physical evidence, police aggressively pursued Ray as a suspect, eventually wrongly charging and wrongly convicting him with perjury after an alleged discrepancy in his testimony. After Ray was wrongfully convicted, another man confessed to the murder — and DNA confirmed.

The Michigan Innocence Clinic took up his case and exonerated McCann after WOODTV exposed how detectives lied to McCann repeatedly during 20 coercive interrogations.

Read more about Ray’s win in WOODTV.

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