Attica Suit Settled For $8 Million

ROCHESTER, N.Y.--New York state agreed yesterday to pay $8 million to inmates caught up in the 1971 Attica riot, settling a 25-year-old lawsuit over the nation's deadliest prison uprising.

The money will go to 1,280 inmates--or their heirs--who claimed they were tortured, beaten and denied medical treatment in the aftermath of the revolt and authorities' bloody efforts to put it down. The original class action suit, filed in 1974, sought $100 million.

State police launched an all-out assault on the maximum-security Attica Correctional Facility near Buffalo on Sept. 13, 1971, the fifth day of the uprising. More than 2,000 rounds of ammunition were fired over six minutes.

In all, 32 inmates and 11 corrections officers died, most of them killed during the raid. Hundreds more were wounded.

In agreeing to settle, the state admitted no wrongdoing. It also agreed to pay as much as $4 million in legal fees and costs.

Inmates or their heirs must contact plaintiffs' lawyers to be included in the settlement. U.S. District Judge Michael Telesca will hold hearings in February to give claimants a chance to object to the terms of the settlement.

It was not clear how many people would claim compensation. Elizabeth Fink, attorney for lead plaintiff Akil Al-Jundi, who died in 1997, said she believes several hundred inmates have died.

Teen Father Who Killed Baby Son Is Released

WYCKOFF, N.J.--A young man who pleaded guilty along with his high school sweetheart to killing their newborn son was released from prison after serving 1 1/2 years for manslaughter.

Brian Peterson, 21, had been sentenced to two years but was let out early because of time served before his guilty plea and good behavior.

Prosecutors said Peterson and Amy Grossberg tried to conceal her pregnancy and the birth and then killed their son at a Newark, Del., motel in 1996. The baby's body was found wrapped in a plastic bag in a trash bin in the parking lot. The couple, both 18 at the time, had said they believed the child was stillborn when Peterson placed it there. But the medical examiner's office said the boy died of skull fractures.

Grossberg was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison. She is expected to be released in May after serving nearly two years.

Seattle City Attorney Drops WTO Mayhem Cases

SEATTLE--All but 40 of 280 unresolved misdemeanor cases stemming from demonstrations during the World Trade Organization meetings last month are being dropped, the Seattle city attorney said.

An unspecified number of people still face felony charges of property damage and burglary for allegedly smashing windows, spray-painting graffiti and looting downtown stores, City Attorney Mark Sidran said in a statement.

About 210 of the 525 total misdemeanor charges have been resolved through "guilty pleas, diversions and dismissals" but most remaining cases would be too difficult to prove, Sidran said.