Donald E. Gates Framed: Man Falsely Accused Of Murder Awarded Huge Sum Of Money, How Much Did He Get?

Donald E. Gates Framed: Man Falsely Accused Of Murder Awarded Huge Sum Of Money, How Much Did He Get?

Donald E. Gates was framed by police for rape and murder, according to federal jury findings Wednesday. Donald Gates was found guilty of rape and murder in 1982. The crime took place in 1981. At his trial, Donald Gates was sentenced to life in prison. The evidence presented against Gates was a statement that was given to the police informant by Gates as well as a strand of hair found on the victim which the FBI analyzed and said belonged to Gates. Donald stated that he was innocent. It was not until 2009 and DNA evidence from the hair cleared Gates after serving 27 years behind bars.

On Wednesday, the federal jury found that D.C. police homicide detectives made up pieces of the confession that Donald Gates was said to have made to an informant for the police. It was also discovered that police did not release all the evidence obtained during the investigation in which Gates was found to be guilty. In light of the ruling by the jury, Donald’s attorney now wants other cases that were run by the police detectives that framed Gates reviewed. The two D.C. detectives in question are Ronald S. Taylor and Norman Brooks. Both of them are now retired from the force.

The D.C. jury decided that Gates must be paid $16.65 million. The cash settlement that was awarded by the jury will be the largest paid to one person in the city’s history. Donald Gates commented on the verdict.

“I’m absolutely elated. The only thing I can do is thank the Lord. I’m hoping the message goes around the country: You can’t violate a black man or black woman’s civil rights, or no American citizen’s civil rights, anywhere. That’s what I hope.”

A third officer was also looked at by the jury in the Gates case. Lieutenant John Harlow, also retired, was found by the jury to have committed no wrongdoing as it relates to Donald Gates and the fabricated evidence that sent him to jail. Harlow talked about the police department that he worked for.

“The Metropolitan Police Department is an outstanding police department known nationally and worldwide for its professionalism.”

Harlow also commented on the two detectives and said they “are the highest-quality, professional detectives that I have ever worked with, and if I were the victim of a homicide, those are the first two detectives I would want involved in my case.”

Due to the fact that Gates was convicted partly on hair evidence analyzed by the FBI, the D.C. Public Defender Service and U.S. prosecutors have begun investigating cases in which FBI hair analysis was presented as evidence. Earlier this year, the FBI admitted that their forensic hair experts overly exaggerated the certainty of hair matches.

One of Donald’s attorneys, Peter Neufeld, wants an investigation opened in regard to perjury for Ronald Taylor.

“There is no doubt at this trial that the jury determined that he lied to them, and when you lie in a federal court under oath on a material matter, that’s perjury.”

Who committed the rape and murder that Donald Gates was found guilty of? The guilty party was discovered but not named by the U.S. attorney’s office. In 2012, genetic evidence that was left at the crime scene in 1981 was traced back to a janitor who worked in the building in which the victim worked. The guilty man had already died in 2011.

Do you think the settlement that was awarded to Donald E. Gates for being framed for rape and murder was the right amount? Do you think that other cases investigated by these two officers will be overturned?

[Image via Stephen Chung/Shutterstock]