A recent study has found that Virginia falls behind other states when it comes to compensating innocent people who were wrongfully sent to prison.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported last week that the study was conducted by staff of the Virginia House Appropriations Committee. He suggested that lawmakers consider establishing a minimum award per year in prison.
Virginia is among more than 30 states that have a law to compensate those wrongly convicted for their incarceration. And since 2004, the General Assembly has made 25 awards to people wrongly convicted.
But the median amount of compensation in Virginia has been around $ 46,895 per year of wrongful imprisonment. That’s lower than the $ 70,157 average awarded in other states. It’s also lower than the minimum annual award of $ 50,000 a year in 17 states.
Advocates for the wrongfully convicted as well as some state lawmakers say changes are needed.