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Compensating the Wrongfully Convicted

By The Innocence Project, on 1 January 2012

Those proven to have been wrongfully convicted through postconviction DNA testing spend, on average, 12 years behind bars. The agony of prison life and the complete loss of freedom are only compounded by the feelings of what might have been, but for the wrongful conviction. Deprived for years of family and friends and the ability to establish oneself professionally, the nightmare does not end upon release. With no money, housing, transportation, health services or insurance, and a criminal record that is rarely cleared despite innocence, the punishment lingers long after innocence has been proven. States have a responsibility to restore the lives of the wrongfully convicted to the best of their abilities. This document describes how a state can try to recompensate an exonerated person.

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