Earlier this month I posted a link to a story about a woman who sued Seminole County for keeping her locked up in jail overnight and putting her through a strip search even after they knew she was the victim of ID theft. At the time, I was somewhat offended by the County’s defense attorney’s remarks:
Instead of suing Seminole, Shields should thank its employees for “doing a great job” in discovering the error and giving the information to a judge, who ordered Shields’s release April 25, 2002, the day after her arrest, defense attorney Tom Poulton said.
Apparently, the jury did not agree with the defense attorney either. Rene Stutzman now reports that it took the jury only two hours to find for the woman and to award her $100,000.
As to the defense attorney, well:
Defense attorney Tom Poulton said he would file paperwork, asking a judge to set aside the verdict.
I hope that the judge doesn’t set aside the verdict, because the verdict sends a clear message to law enforcement: in this day and age when so many people have become victims of identity theft, if you have evidence that you have arrested the wrong person, apologize profusely and send them on their way. Do not — repeat: not — compound the problems they’ve endured by now treating them like a criminal.