New Innocence Project Report Says Michigan and Other States Are Failing to Help Exonerated.

A report released on December 2, 2009, by the Innocence Project entitled “Making Up for Lost Time: What Wrongfully Convicted Endure and How to Provide Fair Compensation,” finds devastating gaps in the support and services that states provide to people exonerated after serving years in prison for crimes they didn’t commit. Only 60% of the people exonerated have received any compensation, and much of this compensation has been inadequate. According to the Report:

  • 27 states have some form of compensation law on the books, 23 states lack them entirely.
  • Compensation laws vary widely across the country, from New Hampshire’s maximum payment of $20,000 regardless of the number of years a person served to the $80,000 per year paid by Texas.
  • Only six states meet the federal standard of $50,000 per year.
  • 81% of the exonerees who have been compensated were paid less than the federal standard.
  • On average, it takes exonerees three years to access compensation funds.

Michigan currently doesn’t provide any compensation to the wrongfully convicted. The Innocence Project says that next year they will work on getting a compensation bill introduced in our state. Given the current state of Michigan’s economy, they might be better advised to wait until 2011.

Click here to read the executive summary; click here to read the full report. Click here to read the press release and click here for the full report.