News 07.18.07

NJ Senators propose increased compensation for exonerees

Two New Jersey state Senators proposed today that the state increase the compensation it pays to the wrongfully convicted upon exoneration. Saying they were inspired by the case of

Byron Halsey

, an Innocence Project client who was recently exonerated after serving 19 years in prison for two murders he didn’t commit, Senators Richard J. Codey and Ellen Karcher said the state should increase compensation to $50,000 per year of wrongful incarceration. The state’s current standard is $20,000 per year or twice the person’s annual salary at the time of incarceration, whichever is greater. The federal government, along with several states, provides for up to $50,000 per year of wrongful imprisonment.

“There is no way to fully compensate someone for the loss of years from their life,” said Sen. Codey (D-Essex).  “In cases like Mr. Halsey’s, the world and the skills set needed have changed drastically in the last 20 years. The least we can do is provide a person with a greater cushion to acclimate to life outside of prison.  This is just one small way to right a gross wrong.”


Read the full press release

. (PoliticsNJ.com, 7/18/07)

Halsey is the 205th person exonerated by DNA evidence nationwide and the fifth in New Jersey. Read about

Halsey

and the

other New Jersey exonerees

.

Read more about

compensation reforms underway nationwide

and view a map of the

22 states

with compensation laws in place.

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