The Associated Press published a far from reassuring survey today on how the the wrongly convicted are being treated by their state governments.The answer:in general,they are getting worked over a second time around by the System-providing they can first muster the requisite funds and legal talent to obtain exoneration.
Exactly half the States make no provision for recompensing wrongly convicted individuals.Though these states continue to pay masive sums to the individuals who procure the false convictions and who will,for many years thereafter,utilize the state's resources to insure their victims do not receive justice.
A number of the remaining twenty-five states which (along with the District of Columbia) do voluntarally offer payment will still not give you one cent of compensation(should any of us ever be placed in so unfortunate a position) unless,after beiing vindicated by the judiciary, you are also able to further deplete your no longer existing savings by obtaining a pardon from the governor.
Odd, the Governor isn't required to uphold the conviction.In fact,Governors love claim that their hands are tied in innocence litigation.But that doesn't stop said Governors,in some states,from overuling his courts on the rare occasions when they try to undo their misguided,or evil,deeds..
Even then the pickings can be pretty slim for the fifteen or thirty years you could lose fighting a death sentence.Only the District of Columbia and four states(West Virginia,Maryland,Conneticut and NewYork) allow for unlimited damages solely dependent on the merits of the particular case.
A number of the remaining twenty-one states draw no quantative distinction between compensating for a false accusation of disorderly conduct annd a false conviction for rape or child murder.
Either way the State of Montana will provide "money for education only".Should you already
hold a Ph.D.,does the statute mean the State will grant you post-doctorial studies at Harvard,
or does it mean(more probably) that the State of Montana is prepared to vocationally re-educate you for a new career as custodian or dust bin man?
After all your work, Louisiana gives you a measley 15,000 dollars a year with a ten year limit of 150,000.
But try to understand.Iit will have spent a lot more than this opposing your release and must eventually cut its fiscal losses on your case somewhere or other.
Oklahoma (That is Joyce Gilchrist territory)does a bit better at 175,000 for your lifetime award.Perhaps that is why Dr.Gilchrist tried to get as as many expediated death sentences as possible.
As only three of the eight hundred Oklahoma criminal cases which Dr.Gilchrist is suspected of mishandling since the mid-nineties have as yet been conclusively resolved,it is understandable that the State of Oklahoma is playing cheap.But look up,,at the rate the State is litigating,the defendants may all die of old age berfore Oklahoma hands out any further awards.
Texans ,being notorious big spenders,will award you one million dollars(Florida will paytwo million) if you can escape death row.But they aren't taking many chances about this happening.George Bush commuted only one death sentence in the course of his governatorial career.
On the bright side,for once,the current Texas Attorney General recently re-opened ,on his own initiative,a probable case of wrongful execution.The number of instances where this has previously happened can be counted on one hand,with several fingersleft over.
The Salem witches(after being non-suited on a number of prior occasions) finally got a pardon in the late twentieth century-but not until the liberal state of Massachusetts was quite certain that there were no living relatives entitled to compensation. Any such would have been entitled to a maximum award of five hundred thousand dollars.Quite cheap considering what is still some of the most expensive real estate in the Salen area was confiscated by the State in its most infamous prosecution.
Last in the Hall of Shame and otherwise most cheapest skate is New Hampshire at 20,000 total per innocent head.That's David Souter country.If he's asuch hard core liberal why doesn't he do something liberal behind the scenes for his former(but currently afflicted) constituents?