New Kansas Law To Compensate Wrongfully Convicted Defendants

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A new Kansas law will grant cash compensation to wrongly convicted residents for time served behind bars following three high-profile releases of three innocent defendants in three years.

Gov. Jeff Colyer signed legislation Tuesday that says that if a guilty verdict is overturned, the person who was wrongfully convicted is eligible for $65,000 for each year of incarceration.

The law takes effect in July and makes Kansas the 33rd state with such a policy.

The Innocence Project worked with legislators in drafting the bill and is pleased with the result. The nationwide group works to exonerate the wrongfully convicted,

Legislative strategist Michele Feldman called Kansas’ law “a gold standard” of wrongful conviction laws.

She said other states’ laws have shortcomings and Kansas learned what to avoid in passing its policy.

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