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

Apr 26, 2019

Credit Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

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