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Former inmate gets $175,000

State also must pay plaintiff’s attorneys fees

A former New York state prison inmate has been awarded $175,000 by a federal judge because he was kept incarcerated for longer than his legal sentence.

Plaintiff Shawn Michael Vincent sued several New York state prison officials for adding on five years of post-release supervision after he was freed from prison.

In July 2001, Vincent pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary and, under a plea agreement, was sentenced in Chautauqua County Court on Sept. 17, 2001, to five years in prison. The sentence did not include any post-release supervision.

Because of good behavior in prison, Vincent was conditionally released on Jan. 14, 2005, and a five-year period of post-release supervision, set to end on Jan. 14, 2010, was imposed by the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.

On Oct. 14, 2005, Vincent was arrested and taken into custody and accused of failing to comply with conditions of the terms of post-release supervision.

While that case was pending, on June 9, 2006, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit decided another case, ruling that it was unconstitutional for individuals to be subjected to administratively imposed post-release supervision where no judge imposed the additional sentence.

On Aug. 29, 2006, an administrative law judge ruled that Vincent had violated the conditions of the administratively imposed post-release supervision. Vincent stayed in prison until March 21, 2007, when he was released with another term of post-release supervision imposed by a DOCCS.

Two weeks later, on April 5, 2007, Vincent was charged again with violating the terms of the prison-imposed post-release supervision and he was sentenced to two years in prison.

Vincent filed a habeas corpus petition that was granted in state Supreme Court in Franklin County and Vincent was released on July 31, 2008.

In September, U.S. District Court Judge David G. Larimer granted Vincent’s motion for summary judgment and ruled that Anthony J. Annucci, former counsel and executive deputy commissioner for the state Department of Correctional Services, was liable for violating Vincent’s Constitutional rights to due process and freedom from unlawful imprisonment.

“Vincent was incarcerated for 686 days for violating the terms of unconstitutional, administratively imposed PRS,” U.S. District Court Judge David G. Larimer wrote in court papers in September.

“I find that an award of compensatory damages in the amount of $175,000 is appropriate. This amount is awarded to compensate plaintiff for his loss of liberty, and for the pain and suffering and mental anguish associated with that detention,” Larimer wrote.

Larimer also ordered the state to pay Vincent’s attorneys’ fees. If a settlement on that amount cannot be reached the issue will be decided by Larimer.

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In a decision released Friday, Larimer