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Judge: FBI Helped Frame 4 Men for Murder


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BOSTON -- The FBI helped frame four men for a 1965 murder and withheld information that could have cleared them, a federal judge ruled Thursday in ordering the government to pay $101.7 million for the decades they spent in prison.

"The FBI's misconduct was clearly the sole cause of this conviction," U.S. District Judge Nancy Gertner said in issuing her ruling in the civil lawsuit.

She called the government's argument that the FBI had no duty to get involved in the state case "absurd."

Peter Limone and Joseph Salvati, who were exonerated in 2001, and the families of the two other men who died in prison had sued the federal government for malicious prosecution.

They argued that Boston FBI agents knew mob hitman Joseph "The Animal" Barboza lied when he named the men as killers in the 1965 death of Edward Deegan. They said Barboza was protecting a fellow FBI informant, Vincent "Jimmy" Flemmi, who was involved in the hit.

The four wrongly convicted men were treated as "acceptable collateral damage" because the FBI's priority at the time was taking down the Mafia, their attorneys said.


It's like straight out of a mob movie ... scary what the government can do sometimes...

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