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Capozzi settles lawsuit with NYS for wrongful jail time

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Anthony Capozzi with his late mother Mary Capozzi

By Eileen Buckley

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wbfo/local-wbfo-910424.mp3

Buffalo, NY – The Buffalo man who served 22 years in prison for a wrongful conviction has settled a lawsuit with New York State.

Anthony Capozzi has reached an out-of-court settlement in which the state will pay him $4.25 million.

Capozzi was wrongly sent to prison in 1985 for two rapes at Delaware Park. Years later, DNA proved that bike path killer Altemio Sanchez was responsible for those rapes. Capozzi was cleared of the conviction in 2007.

Attorney Thomas D'Agostino represents Capozzi. He said under the statue in the Court of Claims Act this is a big amount for this type of claim.

"In terms of these types of cases, that amount was the largest that was ever arrived at in a settlement," said D'Agostino.

Capozzi's guardians, who are his sisters and a brother, will oversee the money. D'Agostino said more than likely the settlement money will go into a trust for Capozzi's benefit.

D'Agostino said the family is feeling "relief that it is over".

But even though Capozzi will receive more than $4 million, his attorney said he will never get back the more than 20 years he lost in prison.

"He will never get back 20-years of his life. You can't do it. It's not possible," said D'Agostino.

Capozzi suffers from schizophrenia. He resides in a group home in the Buffalo area.