Compensation for wrongful conviction heads to Inslee

Published:

 

OLYMPIA — The Legislature has approved a measure that allows people who were wrongfully convicted to receive a minimum of $50,000 a year for each year they were behind bars.

The House on Monday concurred with changes made by the Senate last week when that chamber unanimously passed the bill. It now heads to Gov. Jay Inslee, who is expected to sign it into law, and Washington will join 27 states, the District of Columbia and the federal government with similar laws on the books.

The measure allows people who were wrongfully convicted to file a claim in Superior Court for damages against the state. Someone would have to show their conviction was reversed or vacated based on significant evidence of actual innocence. Once a judge or jury determines the claim is valid, the court can award damages.