Indiana residents who have been wrongfully convicted and sent to prison in could be eligible for state payments of $50,000 per year they spent behind bars. Legislators voted last week to send the bill to Governor Eric Holcomb for final consideration.
It would allow someone found "actually innocent" of a crime to seek the payments. Those seeking the payments would have to agree to not file lawsuits over their imprisonment. Such cases gained attention when Keith Cooper of Chicago spent nearly a decade in prison before being exonerated of an Elkhart armed robbery and pardoned by Holcomb in 2017. Cooper also has a federal lawsuit pending against the city of Elkhart.
A state report estimates 25 ex-inmates could be eligible for nearly $14 million in total compensation if the bill is signed.
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