I am Tom Freeland, a lawyer in Oxford, Mississippi. The picture in the header is my law office. I'm on Twitter as NMissC

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Mississippi passes into law compensation for wrongful conviction and imprisonment

The Missisisppi Legislature has passed, and today the governor has signed, this bill:

AN ACT PROVIDING FOR CLAIMS FOR WRONGFUL CONVICTION AND IMPRISONMENT; TO EXPRESS LEGISLATIVE INTENT; TO REQUIRE CLAIMANTS TO PRESENT STATEMENT OF CLAIM FOR COMPENSATION; TO ENACT STANDARDS; TO PROVIDE FOR PRESENTATION OF CLAIMS; TO ENACT STANDARDS FOR JUDGMENT AND AWARD; TO ENACT A STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS; TO PROVIDE FOR EXTENSION THEREOF; TO PROVIDE FOR THE RIGHT OF APPEAL FROM AN ADVERSE DECISION; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.

The bill states as its purpose:

The Legislature finds that innocent persons who 10 have been wrongly convicted of felony crimes and subsequently 11 imprisoned have been uniquely victimized, have distinct problems 12 reentering society, and should be compensated. In light of the 13 particular and substantial horror of being imprisoned for a crime 14 one did not commit, the Legislature intends by enactment of the 15 provisions of this act that innocent people who are wrongfully 16 convicted be able to receive monetary  ompensation.

The bill can be read in full here.

It is the third major piece of legislation (first, a DNA task force last year, second, this year’s bill for DNA preservation and testing) that is the product of the Innocence Project at Ole Miss and Tucker Carrington.¬† He and Senator Gray Tollison of Oxford, the principal author, are deserving of major contratulations.

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