- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 9, 2014

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A former Arkansas inmate whose drug-dealing convictions were tossed out because investigators withheld evidence that his attorneys said would have helped his case has filed a federal lawsuit against investigators, prosecutors and the state’s attorney general.

Gyronne Buckley spent more than 11 years in prison before his convictions were expunged.

The state Claims Commission had unanimously awarded Buckley $460,000 in December 2013, finding that he suffered a “wrongful loss of freedom.” But a legislative panel reversed and dismissed the claim after attorney General Dustin McDaniel said the commission overstepped its authority and set a precedent for other similar awards.

Buckley is seeking damages in his lawsuit, which accuses McDaniel of violating his privacy protections, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (https://bit.ly/1ywdF4U ) reported. He argues McDaniel improperly used sealed transcripts from a 1999 trial when appealing the commission’s award.

A spokesman for McDaniel, Aaron Sadler, said the attorney general is obligated to defend the state against claims like Buckley’s.

“(McDaniel) has always indicated that federal civil rights lawsuit was Mr. Buckley’s appropriate course of remedy,” Sadler said. “However, the inclusion of (McDaniel) and his staff in the matter is meritless, and we will work to dismiss those parties immediately.”

Buckley was convicted in 1999 of two counts of delivering of a controlled substance. Following several appeals, the state Supreme Court re-opened his case over a tape that investigators didn’t provide prosecutors of an interview with an informant who testified against Buckley.

Buckley’s attorneys said the interview featured multiple discrepancies with trial testimony and it would have helped Buckley’s case.

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Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, https://www.arkansasonline.com


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