State House OKs compensation for innocent inmates

Posted at 4:43 PM, Dec 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-07 16:43:38-05

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan lawmakers have approved legislation to compensate innocent inmates.

Under a bill passed 104-2 by the House Wednesday, the state would pay ex-inmates $50,000 for each year of their wrongful incarceration, along with attorney fees.

Some wouldn’t qualify for the money if they served simultaneous sentences for other crimes. Others would be ineligible because they successfully sued for civil rights damages, which can be a difficult effort since police and prosecutors often have immunity.

Michigan has released more innocent prisoners than all but four states. The Senate plans to soon send the bill to Gov. Rick Snyder.

The sponsor, Democratic Sen. Steve Bieda of Warren, says the compensation is the least the state can do for people who were “just plucked out of their regular lives and lost their freedom.”