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Bill to compensate wrongfully convicted inmates moves forward

Image of a prison fence
Shayan Sanyal/flickr

Legislation to compensate people who are wrongly imprisoned in Michigan is moving forward at the state Capitol.

A state House committee voted unanimously on Tuesday to give people $60,000 for every year they are imprisoned plus damages.

Advocates for wrongfully imprisoned inmates say it’s about time lawmakers take action on this issue.

“It’s been eight years in discussion,” said Bill Proctor, founder of the group Proving Innocence.  “It’s been dragging, I mean for whatever reason – political, financial, etcetera. Other states have seen both the need and the reasonable nature of correcting what has been done by the government.”

Proctor supports House Bill 4536, but says he wishes it went farther.

“If I was going to pick a number, it would be $80,000 to $100,000,” he said, saying that’s closer to what’s needed for people to get their life back on track and repair the damage of losing years of their life in prison.

The bill now goes to the full state House.

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