Three months after Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill to compensate the wrongfully convicted for the years they spent in prison, the law took effect on Sunday.
Alan Northrop, who spent 17 years in prison for a rape he did not commit before being cleared by DNA evidence, plans to file a claim in Clark County Superior Court for compensation, reported The Daily News. He is one of fewer than a dozen people who will be eligible to seek compensation retroactively.
“It’s a major accomplishment,” Northrop said of the new law. “It’s cool, but then again, it’s frustrating because it took so long.”
Under the new law, exonerees who have already received settlements from the state are disqualified from seeking additional compensation.
Northrop, who missed watching his three children grow up, is eligible to receive $50,000 for each year of his imprisonment plus payment of his child support debt. His children will also receive free tuition at state universities until age 26.
Since Northrop’s 2010 exoneration, he has tried to rebuild his life and now works at a gardening supply manufacturer and distributor. He has plans to marry his fiancé in the near future.