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NYC to pay $11 million to NYC man wrongfully convicted of murdering his mother, spending 19 years imprisoned

Judge's gavel. (Staff Sgt. Nicholas Rau/U.S. Air Force)

A Bronx man wrongfully convicted of murdering his mother will receive a $11 million settlement for the 19 years he spent behind bars, a city Law Department spokesman confirmed Thursday.

NYPD detectives coerced Huwe Burton, who was only 16 at the time, into confessing to the 1989 stabbing. Authorities said Burton was a crack-crazed teen who killed his own mom to pay off a drug debt. He was tried as an adult and found guilty of second-degree murder.

A letter filed last week in Manhattan Federal Court confirmed a deal had been reached.

Burton sued last year over the wrongful conviction. He pinned the slaying on Emanuel Green, a tenant with a violent criminal history and psychiatric diagnoses who lived in the the apartment below the Burton family.

Green told police he helped Burton stage the crime scene to look like a rape and robbery. But Green was on parole at the time of the killing and was caught driving the victim’s stolen car a week later. He was murdered before Burton went to trial.

Burton was released from prison in 2009. Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark moved to dismiss Burton’s conviction 10 years later after determining his confession was “not reliable” due to “flawed interview techniques” used by NYPD detectives.

“No amount of money can erase the horrible experience I went through when I was wrongfully accused and then convicted of my mother’s death,” Burton said in a statement. “The detectives and ADAs who perpetrated this fraud destroyed not just my life but my family’s life as well.”

The $11 million settlement “is in the best interest of the City,” a Law Department spokesman said.

“As D.A. Clark has noted, the detectives involved in Mr. Burton’s criminal case were following standard practices of that time. Many of those investigative techniques are no longer used by the NYPD.”

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