A man who spent more than two decades behind bars after a detective fabricated evidence in the murder case against him was awarded a modicum of relief Wednesday after he was awarded $6 million in damages by a federal jury. The jury found that former Durham police detective Darryl Dowdy faked evidence in the botched investigation that put Darryl Howard behind bars on double murder and arson charges for the 1991 killing of Doris Washington and her teenage daughter.
Howard was exonerated when a judge vacated his convictions in 2016 on the basis of police and prosecutorial misconduct. The $6 million awarded on Wednesday stemmed from a 2017 federal civil rights lawsuit Howard had filed that blamed Dowdy and others for their role in his wrongful conviction.
Responding to the verdict, Howard was disappointed that he was awarded damages that fell so far short of the $48 million requested.“I am happy about the verdict, but I am kind of upset about the damages,” he said. “Just imagine, 23 years I stayed in prison.”