Exoneree Compensation in Ohio

Pursuing compensation is a two-step process that begins with a wrongful imprisonment determination in a court of common pleas. The individual must then file a civil claim for monetary damages in the Court of Claims. After the Court of Claims receives proof of this determination, the wrongfully imprisoned individual is entitled to a sum of money that equals the total of each of the following amounts: a) Any fines or court costs paid, reasonable attorney’s fees and other expenses associated with the criminal proceedings and appeals, and expenses incurred to obtain discharge from confinement; b) $55,045 as determined by the auditor of state for each full year of imprisonment; the amount is prorated for partial year; c) any loss of wages, salary or other earned income; and d) certain cost debts the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction recovered from the person who was wrongfully imprisoned.

In 2018, the law was amended to: Clarify that exonerees are eligible for compensation if their conviction was overturned based on the state unconstitutionally withholding favorable evidence from the defendant (known as a Brady violation); permit eligibility if the prosecutor does not attempt to re-prosecute after one year of exoneration; and permit eligibility for misdemeanor wrongful convictions. Effective: 1989; Amended most recently: 2018.

Read the statute.


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