Louisiana Compensation Falls Short


On Friday, a Louisiana judge authorized compensation for four men who had been wrongfully convicted by the state, including Innocence Project client Henry James who was proven innocent through DNA testing in October.


James, who served nearly 30 years, is expected to receive the state’s maximum payout of $250,000 plus some educational and medical expenses. Louisiana’s compensation law is among the lowest in the nation. Following the federal standard of $50,000 per year of wrongful imprisonment, James should have received approximately $1.5 million.


The Associated Press reports:

“This is not winning the lottery by any stretch,” said Killebrew, an Innocence Project New Orleans attorney who helped free James.

Pending legislation would raise the cap to $500,000 or increase the services that the exonerated receive such as medical expenses.


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