May 18, 2016
Even where (wrongful imprisonment) compensation laws exist, they can be badly flawed. Most states, like Louisiana, place the burden on people who were wrongly convicted to prove their innocence before any payment is made. Several states offer embarrassingly small payouts…. Others have laws riddled with unreasonable restrictions…. Some refuse to pay anyone who pleaded guilty or who confessed to a crime he or she did not commit, despite evidence that many innocent people do both….”
– From “Paying for Years Lost Behind Bars,” editorial in the New York Times (May 18)
And some states – well, actually, just one – have governors who withhold compensation for nine months while gratuitously reinvestigating a DNA exoneration.