BUFFALO, NY - Anthony Capozzi, the mentally ill Buffalo man who was wrongly imprisoned for 22 years, has settled his lawsuit against New York state for $4.25 million.
The out of court settlement was announced on Wednesday, two years after Capozzi's family filed suit against the state. The case was scheduled to go to trial this summer.
"All the money in the world can't give you back time and your life and your experiences. This money can never make up for what this has cost Anthony and our family, but it will allow us to ensure that Anthony will be well cared for for the rest of his life," said his sister Pam Guenther.
"It's unfortunate that our mother didn't live to see this day," said Al Capozzi, Jr., Anthony's brother.
Mary Capozzi has prayed for Anthony's release every day of his 22 year imprisonment. She passed away last fall.
"Primarily this money will be used for Anthony's care. We're going to look into alternative and cutting edge treatments for schizophrenia," said Al, Jr.
Anthony's sister says his health has deteriorated since his release from prison. "He doesn't realize that over-eating, over-drinking and over-smoking can damage your health," said Guenther.
Capozzi's brother and sister have been appointed as his guardians and will administer the settlement on Anthony's behalf.
Anthony, who suffers from schizophrenia, lives in a group home for the mentally ill in the Buffalo area.
His family says Anthony has a basic understanding as to why he's receiving the money, but no real concept of the amount of money involved.
In 1985, Capozzi was wrongly convicted of two of the Delaware Park rapes. He and his family maintained his innocence all along.
In January of 2007, Altemio Sanchez was arrested and charged with three murders. DNA tests proved that Sanchez, and not Capozzi, committed the rapes that Capozzi had been convicted of.
Capozzi's attorney, Tom D'Augustino, negotiated with the state Attorney General's office to reach the settlement. The family is expected to receive the money in the next month or so.