“This vindication, even more than the money, is something that will help him better reintegrate into society...The future is now open to him in a way that it wasn’t before yesterday.”

Paul Messing, attor­ney for Jimmy Dennis.

On April 25, 2024, a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania jury awarded $16 million to former death row prisoner Jimmy Dennis (pictured), who was wrongfully convicted and spent 25 years in prison. Following nine days of trial, jurors determined that the city of Philadelphia owes Mr. Dennis $10 million, and the two detectives who “engaged in malicious or wanton misconduct” owe him an additional $3 million each. Mr. Dennis was sentenced to death in 1991 for a murder he maintained he could not have committed, and in 2013, a federal judge overturned his conviction, calling it a “grave miscarriage of justice.”  

While awaiting his retrial, prosecutors offered Mr. Dennis the opportunity to plead no contest to a lesser charge and be released immediately. In pleading no contest, Mr. Dennis does not accept guilt and thus was permitted to sue the city of Philadelphia for police misconduct. The two investigating officers, Manuel Santiago and Frank Jastrzembski, are awaiting trial on perjury charges stemming from a separate case in which prosecutors allege they lied on the witness stand during a retrial. 


Ellie Rushing, Jury awards $16 mil­lion to a Philly man whose death-row mur­der con­vic­tion was over­turned, The Philadelphia Inquirer, April 262024

See DPIC’s entry for Jimmy Davis on the Partial Innocence List, here