01/24/08 — Dail will get $368,493

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Dail will get $368,493

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on January 24, 2008 2:17 PM

The N.C. Industrial Commission confirmed Wednesday that they approved compensation for exonerated former inmate Dwayne Dail.

Dail was cleared in August when DNA evidence showed he could not have been the man who raped a Goldsboro 12-year-old in 1987, after serving more than 18 years in prison.

A spokesman for the Industrial Commission confirmed the amount -- $368,493.14 total, which amounts to about $20,000 for each year of wrongful incarceration, officials have said.

Dail could not be reached for comment on Wednesday or Thursday, and neither could lawyer Christine Mumma, the N.C. Center on Actual Innocence director who helped to free him.

Dail told the newspaper in an early January interview his feelings about the amount of compensation.

"There has to be laws written that (do) not excuse shoddy police work," Dail said. "The $20,000 a year is insulting. It' just no right -- no amount of money's going to make it right."

But Dail said the money would help him to feel a measure of independence from the family and friends he is depending upon.

"Sure, I'll be able to get on my feet, to where I'll be able to maybe start a life."

But Dail said he would not let the events of the past -- or compensation hearings -- define the remainder of his life.

"I'm not going to let what happened to me ... shape my life or define my life," Dail said.

Dail's sister Diana Davis, who wrote letters for years seeking to get her brother freed from prison, said she hoped people would donate to the N.C. Center on Actual Innocence.

"They are the voice for the people who have no voice," Dail said.

Added Mrs. Davis, "The Innocence Project saves lives. Just as much as raising funds for other medical experiments and research, advancements in medical tech and things like that.

"There's people on death row, they'll be put to death if they don't get help."