Saturday, November 16, 2002

Seven Years on Death Row Gets You $100 G's?

A man who was exonerated after spending seven years on death row for the rape and murder of a little girl has asked for a formal pardon.

Rolando Cruz was twice convicted of abducting, raping and killing 10-year-old Jeanine Nicarico. At a third trial, though, he was acquitted after a police officer changed his story about an incriminating statement Cruz supposedly made.

DNA evidence later pointed to someone else as the rapist.

Cruz was freed after spending 11 years in prison — seven of them on death row. On Friday, he formally asked the Prisoner Review Board to clear his name, a step that would let him seek about $100,000 in compensation from the state.