Washington State Still Considering Compensation Bill
Washington exoneree Alan Northrop has testified in favor of statewide legislation to compensate the wrongfully convicted for the past three years. Hopefully this will be the last year he’ll have to do so.
Rep. Tina Orwall, D-Des Moines has been alongside Northrop the whole way sponsoring various incarnations of a bill to compensate exonerees who were wrongly convicted.
House Bill 1341 would compensate exonerees $50,000 for each year spent behind bars, an additional $50,000 for each year spent on death row and $25,000 for each year spent on parole or as a registered sex offender. It would also pay all child support owed while the wrongly convicted was in custody and reimburse all court and attorneys’ fees up to $75,000.
The bill, which would be retroactive, would allow for Nothrop, who spent 17 years in prison for a rape he did not commit before being cleared by DNA evidence, to be compensated. When he was released in April 2010, Northrop owned more than $100,000 in child support for his three children. At present, there are only three other individuals known to qualify for compensation, reported
The Seattle Times
When Orwall read about Northrop’s case and his exoneration, she was surprised to learn there wasn’t already a compensation statute in place. They first met in the months following his release, and she introduced her first bill in 2011.
The measure has already passed the House and a policy committee in the Senate and now awaits action before a Senate fiscal committee. If the bill is passed, Washington would join 27 states, the District of Columbia and the federal government with similar laws.
House Bill 1341
about Northrop’s case
If you live in Washington,
ask Senate Ways and Means Chairman Andy Hill to pass the bill to the full Senate
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