Visitor Question

Pain and Suffering for Wrongful Imprisonment?

Submitted By: James (USA)

My brother spent 20 years in prison for the repeated rape of a woman that he didn’t commit. On the third trial he was convicted of 10 counts of rape. But new DNA testing done from a nationally recognized lab excludes my brother from being the male who did it.

My brother’s life was destroyed and I was devastated. You name it, it happened to me. I still feel the pain of going through what I went through. Am I entitled to a claim for pain and suffering because of the wrongful imprisonment?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear James,


Regrettably the government has something called “Sovereign Immunity.” It basically means the government has immunity from lawsuits. Once in a while when a grave injustice has taken place the government may waive its immunity and pay for someone’s damages. (An example would be your brother if he was released from prison and the DNA absolutely determined he was excluded.)

Even then though, a 3rd party family member has no legal grounds upon which to build a lawsuit.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: March 21, 2011

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