When someone is finally freed from prison after years behind bars for a crime he or she never committed the relief must be overwhelming. When DNA can be used to prove someone convicted of rape’s innocence, he or she will be able to rejoin his or her family in Minneapolis and hopefully pick up where life left off. The longer someone is in prison, however, the harder it will be to reintegrate into society; one of the most difficult things to do may be to find a job.
This is why many states and the federal government compensate those who have been wrongfully imprisoned for each year of their detention. For example, the federal government will pay individuals $50,000 for each year that he or she was in prison for a crime that he or she did not commit. Sadly, Minnesota does not pay the people it wrongfully convicts for the time served in prison. Not only does this make it more difficult for recently released individuals to reintegrate, but it may also cost the state more money.
A bill is currently being debated outside of Minnesota that would reimburse those who have been wrongfully detained at the same rate as the federal government, but there has been some pushback from some legislators. Citing a budget deficit, some have argued that it would not make sense to pay back individuals for their time in prison. The bill’s author has said, however, that the cost of compensating people would be far less than having to pay individuals through civil lawsuits following a wrongful conviction.
Source: New York Daily News, “Man who served 17 years in prison for rape he didn’t commit inspires Washington state bill to compensate wrongfully imprisoned $50,000 per year,” David Knowles, Feb. 18, 2013
There are very serious consequences that come with a conviction for rape in Minneapolis and you can find out more by visiting our website.