Washington lawmakers consider bill to compensate the wrongly convicted


21 States and the District of Columbia have laws on the books to compensate the wrongly convicted. Washington state is considering a law that would make it the 22nd state with such a law.

"When you're imprisoned you lose everything," said Rep. Joe McDermott, D-Seattle and sponsor of the bill. "We should have procedures in place to make someone who's been wrongfully convicted whole, in some small part."

McDermott's measure – which mirrors federal levels – would require the state to award a wrongly convicted person no less than $50,000 for each year of imprisonment, including time spent awaiting trial. An additional $50,000 would be awarded for each year on death row.

Read the full story here

. (Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 02/12/07)

Read an editorial

(Payment required for full article) supporting this bill from today's Yakima Herald-Republic.

The bill is scheduled for a public committee hearing in Washington's House of Representatives on Feb. 20.

Click here to read the bill.

Even when states do have compensation laws, they often fall far short of the federal standard for monetary amounts and don’t include critical state services.

Click here to find out how your state stacks up


Learn more about need for

exoneree compensation nationwide

in our Fix The System section.

View a

model compensation statute


Kentucky exoneree William Gregory recently

settled a civil suit with the City of Louisville

 (Payment required for full article), where he was convicted.

• Georgia does not have a compensation law, but the

state legislature is considering a “private bill”

  (Payment required for full article) compensating 2005 exoneree Robert Clark.

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