Prosecutors had sought the death penalty against Halsey, who maintained his innocence through the one-month 1988 trial, but a holdout on the jury spared his life.
Halsey was exonerated after a 2006 DNA test showed he was not the killer. The charges against him were dropped a year later.
When State Police ran the DNA results against its database, it matched a convicted rapist, Clifton Hall, a neighbor of Halsey who prosecutors had used as a trial witness.
In February 2013, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit brought on Halsey’s behalf against the city of Plainfield and two police officers, ruling there was no proof the officers committed misconduct. In April 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit reversed the dismissal and sent the case back for trial, saying: “Except when an innocent defendant is executed, we hardly can conceive of a worse miscarriage of justice.”
In July 2015, the lawsuit was settled for $12.5 million.