Man wrongly convicted of NY rabbi’s murder receives $10 million settlement

Ben Sales

(JTA) — A man who was wrongly convicted of the 1994 murder of a New York City rabbi and spent 16 years in prison received a $10 million settlement from the city.

Jabbar Collins, 42, reached the settlement following three years of litigation that came after a judge exonerated him in 2010, the New York Times reported Tuesday. Collins had been convicted of murdering Orthodox Rabbi Abraham Pollack in 1994 as Pollack collected rent in a Brooklyn apartment building.

Collins fought the case from prison by contacting witnesses in the trial and gathering evidence using the Freedom of Information Act. The Times reported that the case shed light on aggressive investigation tactics used by the office of Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes.

Through discussions with three witnesses whose testimony led to his conviction, Collins found that city lawyers had threatened two of them and a third had been offered an incentive for giving an incriminating testimony. Collins also found that the prosecution hid evidence that could have led to Collins’ acquittal.

In July, Collins reached a settlement for an additional $3 million with New York State.