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N.Y. Judge Reduces Inmate’s Award

March 15, 2000

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) _ A drug-gang gunman who killed a New York City police officer and then sued for being locked in solitary confinement for more than four years had a $660,000 jury award reduced to $237,500.

U.S. Magistrate Jonathan Feldman upheld a jury’s finding last year that David McClary’s civil rights were violated by prison officials who kept him confined to a bare cell for 23 hours a day between 1989 and 1994.

However in a decision this week he said the jury’s damages for mental anguish were excessive. Feldman reduced them to the amount McClary originally sought in a lawsuit against four prison officials.

McClary, 34, is serving 25 years to life in prison for fatally shooting a rookie police officer in 1988. Officer Edward Byrne was shot as he sat in a patrol car guarding the home of a witness in a drug case.

``No punishment would be too great for him, therefore he doesn’t deserve any kind of judgment,″ Patrick J. Lynch, president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, said through an aide Wednesday.

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