- Written by Bill Branham
After over eight years of being stalled in committee, the Michigan House Bill - 4536, commonly known as the "wrongful imprisonment compensation act", passed 8 to 0. Thirty other states have enacted such a bill in the recognition that the state must be responsible when it deprives individuals of years of their lives when they are indeed innocent.
Not only has it passed committee, but a reading of the bill shows that it has jettisoned much of the weaknesses of earlier versions. Those versions had layer after layer to restrictions about the particular causes of the alleged crime and that it only applied to convictions overturned by strong scientific evidence, such as DNA. Such restrictions were a result of political concessions that made no sense and catered to lawmakers full of myths about wrongful convictions and tier causes.
In fact, while many urged acceptance of such a bill because "politics is compromise" and "get what you can now", others invested in the passage of such a bill, such as Ken Wyniemko, himself an exoneree and activist in this cause, could not put their support behind it. It was, indeed, disappointing and infuriating to read. It inexplicably said that being exonerated by the same courts that convicted the person wasn't enough.
The current bill as it was introduced into committee is a breath of fresh air. It is more rational, acknowledging that when the courts acknowledged the error, the state need to act out of a responsibility which it has to make things right, to the degree that such a thing is even possible. Below this article you will find the link to download the bill. Next step, call your representative and express your support.
The reasons for the establishment of this law have never changed. It is worth hearing again the articulate testimony of Ken Wyniemko. Sadly, this was recorded in 2008, and Michigan still has no law.blog comments powered by Disqus
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