Joe D’Ambrosio was sentenced to death in 1989 for the murder of Anthony Klann, whose body was found floating in the Doan Brook Creek of Rockefeller Park in the city located on the shores of Lake Erie.
During the criminal trial, several suspects were investigated in the case and one of them decided to serve as a protected witness, accusing the others of having killed Klann, in order to avoid capital punishment for himself.
The prosecution used that testimony as evidence, ignoring other factual pieces of proof that pointed in another direction and that would have pushed the investigation away from D’Ambrosio.
This man was convicted and unjustly imprisoned for more than two decades on death row awaiting execution.
Some years ago, a priest who had become friends with D’Ambrosio in prison got access to files on the case, which he managed to get reopen and investigated by private contractors.
With new legal representation, D ’Ambrosio and his lawyers managed to prove that he was in fact not guilty and that in 1989 the prosecution had hidden significant evidence that would clear his name. That is why D’Ambrosio obtained his release in 2010.
After several years of appeals and other legal proceedings, which included the modification of a state law that expanded the prohibition of hiding evidence throughout the entire criminal process, Joe’s lawyers have finally obtained for him a one million dollars compensation for the 22 years that he spent unjustly imprisoned.
The Ohio Claims Court approved the settlement agreement for the amount last June. The money will come out of the Wrongful Imprisonment Fund available to that State court.