BAKERSFIELD Channel 2 News is reporting:
Kern County leaders have agreed to pay a man $5 million after he was wrongly sent to prison for 20 years. John Stoll was convicted in the 1980s on molestation charges that were eventually overturned. He was featured last year in the documentary "Witch Hunt," which told the story of a string of child molestation cases during the ’80s that sent 34 Bakersfield residents to prison.
Every conviction was ultimately overturned, including Stoll’s, as witnesses recanted testimony and Kern County prosecutors were accused of using coercive techniques to get children to testify against their own parents.
John Stoll’s settlement is $400,000 per year for each year he was in custody, far less than the $1M a year rate that plaintiff’s lawyers are attempting to set. As recently addressed, the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals explained that even $1M a year "approach[es] the outermost boundary of what might be thought conscionable" and is "at the outer edge of the universe of permissible awards."