Texas generous in wrongful convictions

Feb. 11, 2013 at 4:54 PM

AUSTIN, Texas, Feb. 11 (UPI) -- Texas has paid $65 million in compensation to 89 wrongfully convicted and imprisoned people since 1992, updated state figures show.

The state known for holding the most executions is also the most generous in compensating those wrongfully convicted, the Austin American-Statesman said Monday.

Under a 2009 law, some of the exonerated will receive $80,000 per year for the rest of their lives and are eligible for the same health insurance as employees of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, the newspaper said.

Statistics compiled by the privately funded Innocence Project note 26 states and the District of Columbia offer compensation to the wrongfully convicted, but pay less than does Texas.

Vermont offers one-time payments of $30,000 to $60,000 for each year of incarceration, while Wisconsin pays a single, lump-sum payment of $25,000, a Bloomberg Businessweek report said.

Texas offers lump sums based on time served, plus an $80,000 annuity, as well as payments for 120 hours of college credit and $10,000 for job training, the newspaper noted.

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