The Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday to pay $16.7 million and $7.6 million to Kash Register and Bruce Lisker, respectively, who were arrested as teens and spent a combined 60 years in jail for murders they did not commit.
Police pinned the crime on Lisker using faulty evidence, including a prisoner informant’s testimony, but their claims were eventually debunked in court, exonerating Lisker. The LAPD had said it was physically impossible that Lisker’s story of seeing his mother from outside could be true, but Los Angeles Times reporters and experts showed otherwise. Another piece of evidence police claimed conclusively showed Lisker’s guilt was bloody shoe prints in the bathroom, but an LAPD analyst and FBI expert testified against that theory successfully as well.
“It’s a very happy day. It’s a vindication and an acknowledgment by the city of Los Angeles at its highest levels that what I have said all along is true, that I am innocent and at 17 I was framed by the LAPD for the murder of my mother,” Lisker told the Times by phone.
“The toll this ordeal has taken on me and my family is incalculable. The money is nowhere near enough,” Lisker added. “How can one place a monetary figure on a lifetime of stolen freedom, of crushed aspirations and a shattered reputation, on my mother’s tragic murder going unsolved and neglected for 33 years and counting? There are no words, just as there is no amount that can adequately compensate me for what’s happened.”
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