NYC Pays $7M to Exonerated Grant Williams

    Photo: Staten Island Advance /AP [via NBC News]

    The Facts

    • New York City has agreed to pay Grant Williams $7M after he spent 23 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit.

    • Williams was convicted for the fatal shooting of Shdell Lewis in 1997, but he always maintained his innocence and spent years appealing his guilty verdict.

    The Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    While appalling that Williams wrongly spent so many years behind bars, this case is an example of recent successful reforms to the justice system. Williams is free, has been generously compensated, and further reforms can be expected.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    A wrongful conviction is never the work of one bad apple, but rather a clear indication of latent system weaknesses. Compensating a victim and holding officials accountable won't undo the damage. More must be done to prevent this from happening again.

    Articles on this story

    Sign up to our daily newsletter