Washington becomes the latest state to pass a law that will compensate the wrongfully convicted for the years they spent in prison. On Wednesday, Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill that will take effect in July, reported the Associated Press.
Under the new law, a wrongfully convicted person would be eligible to file a claim against the state once their conviction was reversed or vacated based on evidence of actual innocence. After a judge or jury determines the claim is valid, the court can award damages of $50,000 for each year of imprisonment, including time spent awaiting trial and an additional $50,000 for each year on death row.
About one-third of the people exonerated after proving their innocence have not been compensated for the injustice they suffered and the time they spent incarcerated.