Wrongly Convicted NY Man Dies 4 Months After $7.5M Compensation

Dan Gristwood was convicted in 1996 of attempted murder for beating his wife with a hammer.  He signed a confession, that he did not write, after 16 hours of interrogation by the NY State Police.

In 2003, the real attacker, Mastho Davis, came forward and confessed. Gristwood was released in 2005, and ultimately awarded $7.5M for his nine years of wrongful incarceration.

Sadly, on January 3, 2015, four months after receiving payment, Dan Gristwood died from lung cancer.  See the ABC News story here.

The syracuse.com story about the case here is definitely worth a read, and reads like a script for the prototypical coerced confession.

In light of all the recent public – and police – furor about police conduct, and how they relate to the community, and how they should be respected, I can do naught but shake my head.  When the police do stuff like this, how can they claim any high ground in this discussion?  Dan Gristwood, after his release, said he thought the problem was a “few bad apples.”  That may very well be so, but guess what? Those “few” bad apples make the whole barrel stink.  And this problem belongs to the police – not the public.

4 responses to “Wrongly Convicted NY Man Dies 4 Months After $7.5M Compensation

  1. “Dan Gristwood, after his release, said he thought the problem was a “few bad apples.” But guess what? Those few bad apples make the whole barrel stink. And this problem belongs to the police – not the public.”

    Spot on !

  2. I am deeply saddened by Dan Gristwood’s premature passing. It disturbs me very much how the legislative right in NY to get compensated is fought so hard, even after you prove your innocence. The innocent in prison suffer unique, continuous pain that ebbs and flows but pools deep in the wrongfully incarcerated innocent psyche until it gushes to disturb its victim and his/her loved ones. This remains my experiential ordeal post-exoneration as it has been with exonerees i confide in. Mr. Gristwood, my exonerated brother, may you rest in peace and may God give you better reward and justice than our imperfect criminal justice system has with enternal life in heaven.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s