NJ Attorney General Should Compensate Exoneree Dion Harrell

Dion Harrell after his exoneration in 2016 with former Innocence Project paralegal Melissa Sopher. Photo by Sameer Abdel-Khalek.

NJ Attorney General Should Compensate Dion Harrell

Dion Harrell was wrongfully convicted of rape in Long Branch, NJ. He spent four years in prison and over two decades on the sex offender registry until DNA proved his innocence in 2016.

The NJ Attorney General’s Office is opposing compensation for Dion. While the Attorney General’s Office agrees that Dion is innocent, it is fighting his claim based on a technicality — that the law requires compensation requests to be filed within two years of an exoneree’s release from prison. That would have been impossible for Dion because he was released in 1997 and wouldn’t be exonerated for another 17 years. New Jersey didn’t even have a DNA testing law for the wrongfully convicted when Dion got out of prison. 

The good news is that the Attorney General has the power to agree to compensate Dion Harrell right now, as it has done in other innocence cases. While the $200,000 Mr. Harrell is entitled to for his wrongful imprisonment is a relatively small amount of money for the state, it would make a huge difference for Dion who continues to struggle from his wrongful conviction.

Sign the petition above to tell the New Jersey Attorney General to compensate Dion Harrell now!

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