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Wrongful Imprisonment Lawsuit Reaps $3.4M for Long Island Man Held in Jail for 17 Years

Martin H. Tankleff served 17 years in prison for the murder of his parents at their Long Island home before charges against him were dropped. In a wrongful imprisonment lawsuit, a settlement has been made ...

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Martin H. Tankleff served 17 years in prison for the murder of his parents in their eastern Long Island home until the state appeals court found evidence that was overlooked during his trial to have charges dropped. Now, Tankleff will receive $3,375,000 as a settlement for his wrongful imprisonment lawsuit.

Tankleff’s parents were found murdered in 1988, when he was only 17 years old and a senior in high school. He was set free in 2007 after having served 17 years of jail – released from prison on Dec. 27, 2007.

Tankleff’s conviction came about when his parents were found dead in their home. His father was found bleeding in the home office while his mother was found beaten and slashed. Tankleff had pointed to his father’s business associate as the man responsible for the murders, but in the process of a long interrogation, Suffolk County detective K. James McCready informed Tankleff that his father awoken from acoma and had accused him of the murder. Tankleff proceeded to sign a confession that he killed his parents, but later rescinded the confession.

Tankleff filed a wrongful imprisonment lawsuit in 2010. While the state has agreed to pay $3.4 million in damages for his wrongful imprisonment, a civil rights lawsuit is still pending against Suffolk County and Detective McCready.

The lawsuit against Detective McCready claims that Tankleff was coerced into signing a false confession by offering him information about the case and asking leading questions while taking his confession.

In a written statement, Tankleff said, “I am looking forward to my federal trial, where I hope to expose the misconduct that caused my wrongful conviction so that it does not happen to anyone else.”

[Source: The New York Times; Marty Tankleff]