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Tearful ‘Storyteller’ Morrison gets $3 million award for wrongful extradition

Published:Thursday | February 4, 2021 | 11:58 PM
Morrison: "The meagre sum cannot compensate for one month of the living hell I went through much less my 22 years of torture."

Barbara Gayle, Contributor

The government has been ordered to pay $3 million to deported Jamaican Richard ‘Storyteller’ Morrison who was wrongfully extradited to the United States of America in 1991.

The award was made by the Supreme Court on Thursday.

But Morrison is deeply dissatisfied.

"The meagre sum cannot compensate for one month of the living hell I went through much less my 22 years of torture," he told The Gleaner.

Morrison, who was on the verge of tears, said the compensation was an insult to him.

"I am going to appeal it," he said.  

Morrison disclosed that the amount awarded by the court was similar to what the government had offered him in 2018 and he turned it down.

WATCH: Extradited Jamaican tells his story

He said he has suffered severe hardships for the wrongful act done to him.

An alleged member of the Shower Posse Gang, Morrison was extradited while an appeal was pending against his extradition order.

In the US, he was tried and convicted for offences for which he was not extradited.

At the same time, the offence for which he was extradited was thrown out for lack of evidence.

Morrison spent 22 years in US prison before he was deported in 2013.

Since then, he had been fighting a legal battle for the government to compensate him for wrongful extradition and the pain and suffering it caused.

Morrison, who had been representing himself, filed a negligence claim in the Supreme Court and the government accepted liability.

A hearing was held into the matter and in March last year, the amount to be awarded was reserved.

"My health has deteriorated significantly since I came back to Jamaica, I even suffered a stroke. Some of the stress is from my incarceration in the United States but the majority of my stress, humiliation and suffering is as a result of how I have been treated by the Jamaican authorities and the justice system," said Morrison.

Upset about the long delay by the court to make the award, Morrison filed a claim in the Court of Appeal in December last year contending that the delay by the Supreme Court in delivering the amount for compensation was a breach of his constitutional rights.

READ: Deported ‘Storyteller’ frustrated by court delay in awarding damages

He wanted the Appeal Court to make an order compelling the Supreme Court to make the award expeditiously.  

Morrison was advised that he should first take the issue to the Supreme Court.

On January 7, he filed a claim in the Supreme Court alleging constitutional breaches in the delay of his compensation. 

‘Storyteller’ Morrison files constitutional motion over delays in awarding damages

Late last month, he also sent a letter to Public Defender Arlene Harrison-Henry seeking her help in the matter.

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