By a vote of 52 – 22, the New Jersey Assembly passed a bill yesterday that would increase compensation for the wrongfully convicted in the Garden State from $20,000 to the federal level of $50,000 per year of wrongful incarceration, with annual adjustments based on the Consumer Price Index. The bill will also add clarifying language to ensure that those who falsely confess or plead guilty to avoid a harsher sentence and are later exonerated are not excluded from receiving compensation.
“Those who have suffered through wrongful imprisonment deserve reasonable and adequate compensation that is up-to-date with current standards,” said Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-Mercer/Hunterdon), a sponsor of the bill. “We haven’t updated this law in 16 years, so it’s past time we do it to ensure we can help these people who endured a real-life nightmare.”
The bill was passed earlier by the New Jersey Senate, so now goes to Governor Chris Christie.
If you live in New Jersey,
send an email to Governor Christie, asking him to sign the bill
compensation laws in your state