News 06.26.15

Michigan Lawmakers Consider Compensating Exonerees

Michigan is one of 20 states in the country that does not provide compensation to people who have been exonerated of wrongful convictions, but a new proposed bill may soon change that. According to an article published on Thursday in the

Times Herald

, legislators there are considering passing the Wrongful Imprisonment Compensation Act, HB 4536, which would provide $60,000 for each year of imprisonment.

In addition to monetary compensation, HB4536 would also pay “economic damages including lost wages, attorney fees, actual medical expenses related to imprisonment, reasonable attorney fees in an action to obtain compensation, and reimbursement of any amount awarded and collected under the state correctional facility reimbursement act,” reports the

Herald

.

The bill has certain caveats, however, which could restrict eligibility for future exonerees. For example, exonerees will have to bring an action against the Court of Claims within three years of the reversal of the conviction. For those released prior to the bill going into effect, they will have to file actions for compensation within three years. Also, exonerees cannot receive compensation if they are serving a concurrent or consecutive sentence for other convictions that were not vacated or reversed.

“This bill, if passed, is a very positive step in not only compensating persons who have been wrongfully convicted, but will also make police officers, prosecuting attorneys and judges more accountable,” writes the

Herald

.

Learn more about HB 4536 

here

.

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