Money cannot account for lost life

During a summer night in 1991, a 16-year-old was killed in front of a Greenwich Village nightclub. A year later, Fernando Bermudez, 22, was charged with second-degree murder, the New York Daily Newsreported.

After spending 18 years in prison, Bermudez was finally proven innocent and released. He immediately filed a lawsuit to receive reimbursement for the wrongful conviction. Though the state settled for $4.75 million in 2014, it was not until Feb. 8, 2017 that the city agreed to give Bermudez a settlement worth $7 million, The New York Daily News also reported.

As though spending 18 years in jail did not serve as a great enough punishment, the city and state were able to add salt to the wound.

Bermudez should not have had to spend several years trying to get the city and state to release him. Even the reimbursement that he did receive, totaling $11.75 million, seems vaguely placed. After all, Bermudez was wrongly jailed for 18 years.

The prime of his life—the period when a lot of people choose to finish their college education, find their first jobs and pursue their goals—was completely taken away from him. No amount of money can make up for a loss of time that substantial.