OLYMPIA, Wash. - A new law will allow people who were wrongfully convicted to receive state compensation for the years they spent in prison.
Governor Jay Inslee signed the bill Wednesday, and the measure takes effect in late July.
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.
Compensation would be similar to the amounts paid by the federal government - a wrongly convicted person would receive $50,000 for each year of imprisonment, including time spent awaiting trial. An additional $50,000 would be awarded for each year on death row.