BREAKING: Idaho is the 36th State to Compensate the Innocent

Today, Governor Brad Little signed ‘The Wrongful Conviction Act’ into law, providing state compensation for the wrongfully convicted in Idaho. This makes Idaho the 36th state to adopt…

Today, Governor Brad Little signed ‘The Wrongful Conviction Act’ into law, providing state compensation for the wrongfully convicted in Idaho. This makes Idaho the 36th state to adopt a wrongful conviction compensation law. 

The ceremony took place at the Bonneville County Courthouse in Idaho Falls which is the hometown of Christopher Tapp, who was exonerated of murder in 2019, after spending 20 years wrongfully imprisoned. Mr. Tapp was exonerated based on new DNA evidence that identified the real perpetrator many years after he was coerced into falsely confessing to the crime. He was convicted despite no physical evidence connecting him to the crime. Alongside fellow Idahoan exoneree Charles Fain, Mr. Tapp has been a strong advocate for this legislation.

Read: DNA Testing Identifies Actual Perpetrator in 1996 Idaho Falls Rape and Murder, Confirming Christopher Tapp’s Innocence

The new law, which was sponsored by Senator Doug Ricks and Representative Barbara Ehardt, includes a fixed sum of $62,000 for each year of wrongful imprisonment or $75,000 for each year wrongfully served on death row. The average amount offered nationally through state compensation laws is $68,000 per year of wrongful imprisonment. In addition to Washington D.C., eighteen states offer $50,000 or more for each year of wrongful incarceration with many laws providing additional compensation for years served on death row or on post-release supervision. The law also compensates $25,000 per year wrongfully served on sex offender registry or post release supervision and all compensation claims will be processed by the courts

For Idaho exonerees like Mr. Fain and Mr. Tapp, who were left without support for fundamentals like housing, transportation, health services or insurance, and with a criminal record that is rarely cleared despite innocence, the punishment lingers long after innocence has been confirmed and they’ve been released from prison.  Compensation will help exonerees rebuild the lives they lost to a wrongful conviction.


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» BREAKING: Idaho is the 36th State to Compensate the Innocent | jlucivero | Peace | https://www.pea.cx/2021/03/05/breaking-idaho-is-the-36th-state-to-compensate-the-innocent/ | 2022-05-17T14:19:21+00:00
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