Illinois legislators this week voted to override a veto by Gov. Rod Blagojevich, improving the compensation the state pays to the wrongfully convicted after their release. The state’s former law, originally passed in 1945, was deeply flawed, with tiny payments for the exonerated and a requirement to wait for a pardon from the governor in order to receive compensation.
Blagojevich has been notoriously slow in processing pardon applications
The new compensation law pays the exonerated up to $200,000, and provides critical job search and job placement services.
Rob Warden, the executive director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions in Chicago, wrote about the new law today on the Huffington Post.
In a reversal of political stereotypes, the Republican Ryan, who left office in 2003, was sensitive in the way his successor, the Democrat Blagojevich, hasn't been to the predicaments in which the exonerated typically find themselves upon leaving prison: impoverished and, still officially classified as ex-cons, veritably blacklisted from employment opportunity.
Read the full story here
. (Huffington Post, 09/23/08)