News 09.04.09

New Texas Compensation Law Takes Effect

A new state law takes effect in Texas this week compensating the exonerated with $80,000 for each year they spent in prison. The bill also includes services such as job training, tuition credits and access to medical and dental treatment, and it compensates the exonerated both for time spent in prison and for time on parole (at a rate of $25,000 per year). Although Texas is one of 27 states with an exoneree compensation law, no other state provides this level of social services or compensates the exonerated for years on parole (often as registered sex offenders).

Thomas McGowan, who

met recently with the victim in his case who misidentified him and the lead officer in the investigation

, said he is looking forward to receiving compensation to help him rebuild his life.

"I'm nervous and excited," said McGowan, 50. "It's something I never had, this amount of money. I didn't have any money — period."


Read the full story

. (Associated Press, 9/4/09)

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