Rep. Steuerwald has introduced HB 1150 providing that an exonerated prisoner is entitled to $50,000 for each year that the individual was incarcerated in the Department of Correction for a conviction that was vacated. The person has to otherwise waive their claims against the State and can’t have pending or previous wrongful conviction claims against the State. If there is not enough money in the exoneration fund to pay claims at the $50,000 per year rate, the compensation may be pro rated by the Attorney General (who is to administer the exoneration program). And, according to the fiscal note, there’s might be a lot of pro-rating. The legislation appropriates $200,000 to the fund. The note estimates at least thirty-four eligible people with 369 total years of incarceration, resulting in potential demands on the fund of $18,450,000. If my math is correct, pro-rated, that amounts to a cool $542 per year for wrongful incarceration.
This is maybe a little obscure, but the $542 reminds me of the old skit by The State where Barry & LeVon brag about getting $240 worth of pudding.
“We had the $240. We had to have the pudding.”
“Now, we could’ve bought $100 worth of pudding — and that would have been a *lot* of pudding — but we had to go all the way, baby.”
“See this here, it says first you cook, then you chill. And that’s what I do every night! First I cook, and then I chill! Aw yeah.”