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Bill To Put Money In Wrongful Conviction Fund Heads To Michigan's Governor

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More money could be added to the state’s wrongful conviction fund.  Lawmakers on Thursday sent a bill to add $10 million to the fund to the governor’s desk.

The money set aside for people who were wrongfully convicted is almost gone. 

Republican Representative Steve Johnson is a bill sponsor.

“We made a big mistake, right? We put an innocent man in jail. And then we say, alright we’re going to compensate you, not that we can ever truly compensate them but, we’re going to do what we can here, and then we can’t even do that? I don’t know how much worse you can get than that."

State law says that people who are wrongfully convicted are eligible to receive $50,000 for every year they spend in prison.  Johnson says this bill would make sure there’s enough money in the fund until the next spending year.  And it includes new reporting requirements that Johnson says will ensure the fund doesn’t run out of money again.

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—Cheyna Roth is a reporter for the Michigan Public Radio network.  Contact WEMU News at 734.487.3363 or email us at studio@wemu.org

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County. Eventually, Cheyna took her investigative and interview skills and moved on to journalism. She got her masters at Michigan State University and was a documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and freelance writer before finding her home with NPR. Very soon after joining MPRN, Cheyna started covering the 2016 presidential election, chasing after Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and all their surrogates as they duked it out for Michigan. Cheyna also focuses on the Legislature and criminal justice issues for MPRN. Cheyna is obsessively curious, a passionate storyteller, and an occasional backpacker. Follow her on Twitter at @Cheyna_R
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