Individuals who have been proven to have been wrongfully convicted of any crime thanks to DNA testing conducted after their conviction typically spend approximately 14 years in prison before they are eventually exonerated. Being away from friends and family, as well as trying to deal with life behind bars, can be extremely difficult; however, the difficulties don’t end once someone is released. Even if someone has been proven to be innocent, the affected individual has to deal with having no money, no place to live, no transportation, and no insurance of any kind. Even worse is the fact that they have to deal with a criminal record that likely has not been wiped clean.
Even if someone has been proven innocent of a crime, it can still be difficult for them to completely reenter society. Even worse, when the individual isn’t fully compensated, things can become much more difficult for them. These individuals are obligated to receive compensation from society in the following ways:
- Monetarily, based on a set minimum amount for each year served in prison
- Financial support for any basic necessities
- Assistance finding affordable housing
- Help with finding medical/dental care and/or counseling services
- Assistance with obtaining education
- Assistance with obtaining various forms of legal services for any reason
One important way to help a wrongfully convicted individual heal is for the government to officially acknowledge that the individual in question was wrongfully convicted and officially recognize that harm was inflicted upon them as a result. This kind of an admission not only helps the overall healing process, but it also helps assure the general public that the government is willing to step up and take responsibility whenever they make an error of this magnitude.
Currently, there are around 30 states, including the District of Columbia, who have some form of compensation statutes in place for those who have been wrongfully convicted of a crime.
However, there are some shortcomings that are common in existing compensation legislation:
- An insufficient amount of monetary compensation and/or social services
- Opting not to enact access to any kind of wrongful conviction compensation
- Not allowing any kind of compensation to individuals who have been deemed to have supposedly â€œcontributedâ€ to their own wrongful convictions
- Denying remedies to individuals who are able to prove that their wrongful convictions came about from both civil rights violations and simple errors
- Preventing individuals with unrelated felony convictions from being compensated
There are many different steps that states can take to ensure that individuals who have been wrongfully convicted of crimes are guaranteed the compensation that they deserve:
- States that currently do not have any kind of compensation legislation in place must pass it. Additionally, states that do have this kind of legislation should re-examine everything in order to ensure that all compensation is easily obtainable.
- Compensation legislation statutes should include one of two things: either a fixed sum or a range of recovery for each year that an individual spent in prison.
- All compensation legislation statutes should include aspects such as access to food, housing, counseling, dental/medical care, education, etc.
- All statutes should not contain anything talked about in the aforementioned “shortcomings” section
If you or someone you know have been wrongfully convicted of a crime and need help getting the compensation that you rightfully deserve, contact the law office of Collin Evans today! He will work hard to ensure that you get everything that you have coming to you, as his great record will prove. So if immediate relief is what you’re in search of, contact the law office of Collin Evans today and let him get you that relief!