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Utah lawmakers endorse compensation bill
Posted: June 22, 2007 12:35 pm
A committee of Utah legislators unanimously endorsed a plan yesterday to compensate people exonerated after serving time in prison for a wrongful conviction. The proposal is likely to become a bill when the Utah legislature begins its next session in January, 2008.
The bill's sponsor, Sen. Greg Bell, says Utah needs to offer compensation to exonerees to help them put their lives back together.
Read the full story here. (Desert News, 6/21/07)
By creating a compensation law, Utah would join 21 other states, along with the federal government and District of Columbia. View a map of these 21 states.
One person, Bruce Dallas Goodman, has been exonerated by DNA testing in Utah. Read more about his case here.
Read more about the need to compensate the wrongfully convicted here.
Tags: Utah, Bruce Dallas Goodman
Rocky Mountain Innocence Center works for Utah compensation law
Posted: November 26, 2007 2:43 pm
Utah is one of the 28 states lacking a law to compensate the wrongfully convicted upon their release, but the Rocky Mountain Innocence Center is working to change that. A bill that would compensate exonerees with $40,000 for each year they were wrongfully imprisoned passed a Utah Senate interim committee this summer and is set for introduction during the 2008 session. The bill passed the House last year, but didn’t make it to a Senate vote.
Katie Monroe is the executive director of the RMIC, which is affiliated with University of Utah’s law school. She said the compensation bill’s success will rely on a unique partnership with prosecutors.
The center teamed with the Utah Attorney General's Office to promote the bill - a partnership Monroe called nearly unprecedented.
"We were able to bring two seemingly opposing sides to find the middle ground," she said. "I think that's incredible."Read more about compensation laws nationwide.
Read the full story here. (Salt Lake Tribune, 11/26/07)
Visit a special New York Times interactive feature, published on Sunday, on the lives of exonerees after they are released.
Tags: Utah, Exoneree Compensation
Utah Legislature passes compensation bill
Posted: February 6, 2008 5:05 pm
Utah is one of 28 states that don’t provide compensation to the exonerated, but a bill that received final approval today from the State Legislature seeks to change that. The proposed law would provide $35,000 per year of wrongful incarceration – up to a maximum of 15 years – for formerly incarcerated people who prove their factual innocence of the crime for which they served. The bill would also expunge the wrongful convictions from the exoneree’s criminal record. The bill has previously been approved by the Utah Senate and today received a 73-0 vote in the House. It is now pending a signature from Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. to make it a law.
"You can try to imagine what it means to these people" - some come out of prison to no Social Security benefits, family, retirement or career, said State Sen. Greg Bell, who sponsored the bill.Download the full text of the bill. (PDF)
Read more here. (Salt Lake Tribune, 01/31/08)
Does your state have a compensation law? Find out on our interactive map.
Tags: Utah, Exoneree Compensation
Friday Roundup: Favorable Compensation, Actual Innocence Bills
Posted: March 2, 2012 2:20 pm
Tags: Florida, Louisiana, Utah, Wisconsin
Utah Case Demonstrates Difficulty of Exonerating Clients without DNA
Posted: May 8, 2013 5:35 pm