WTF 17 years wrongfully sentenced, and nothing to show for it

OzSTEEZ

¡ɟɟo ʞɔnɟ ʇunɔ 'ᴉO
Nov 11, 2008
33,922
8,399
473
38
Oz
Marklar
25,442.40₥
OUCH! That's harsh..

http://www.seattlepi.com/local/433518_wrongly16.html

Alan Northrop reflects as he speaks Oct. 29, 2010, at a symposium at the University of Washington School of Law addressing the issue of people wrongly convicted of crimes. Northrop spent 17 years in prison for a rape he didn't commit, and he received no compensation from the state for his time served, but new legislation proposed in the state legislature would, if passed, recompense wrongfully convicted inmates for their time behind bars. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Alan Northrop spent 17 years in prison for a rape he didn't commit. When he was finally exonerated, he received no compensation from Washington state.

Instead, he got a six-figure child-support bill.

Rep. Tina Orwall says the episode illustrates a failure on the part of the state. She's planning to introduce legislation this week that would recompense wrongfully convicted inmates for their time behind bars, bringing Washington into line with more than half of U.S. states and the federal government.

It calls for giving former inmates found to be actually innocent $50,000 per year in prison, plus $50,000 more for every year spent on death row and $25,000 for every year on community supervision or as a registered sex offender. Other tenets could include providing health care and paying child support obligations incurred by prisoners during their incarceration.

But because of Washington's dire financial situation - lawmakers are trying to fill a $4.6 billion budget gap - Orwall's bill wouldn't allow exonerated inmates to start collecting until 2014.

"The bill is about fairness," says Orwall, D-Des Moines. "Hopefully the money helps them rebuild their lives. They really need a certain amount of support and resources."

Northrop says he could use those resources sooner rather than later.

He and his co-defendant, Larry Davis, were identified by a housecleaner in La Center, north of Vancouver, as the men who attacked her in 1993 - even though she initially didn't pick them out in a photo montage. After years of trying, the Innocence Project Northwest at the University of Washington Law School finally persuaded a judge to test evidence, including skin cells taken from under her fingernails, for DNA.

The DNA belonged to two unknown men. Northrop and Davis were freed last year. They're among 15 people who have had convictions overturned by the Innocence Project's work in Washington state. Others include Ted Bradford, who was cleared of a rape in Yakima County last year, and James Anderson, who was cleared of a robbery in late 2009; both say they could use some compensation, too.

Exonerated inmates can try to sue for damages, but such cases rarely succeed because they need to prove intentional misconduct by law enforcement officials.

When he was released from prison last year, Northrop was told he owed $111,000 in back child support. About half was due to the mother of his children and half to the state, which helped support the family while Northrop was incarcerated.

The state Department of Social and Health Services has a program for forgiving child support bills in hardship cases, and it waived its share of Northrop's balance in November, within a few hours of receiving an inquiry from an Associated Press reporter. But Northrop still owes tens of thousands of dollars to his former partner, and the state is garnishing his wages to the tune of $100 per month.

Meanwhile, Northrop is struggling to save up enough money for a car so he can keep his $12-an-hour job at a metal fabrication shop in Vancouver. He lives in Ridgefield with his girlfriend, a former classmate with whom he became re-aquainted last spring.

"They owe us - somebody does," he says. "I'm struggling right now. I need every penny."

Lara Zarowsky, a policy staff attorney at the Innocence Project Northwest, worked with Orwall's office in drafting the bill to compensate exonerated inmates. The payments would match those in the federal law.

The legislation could also guarantee free tuition at state schools for the former prisoners and their children.

"Philosophically, it's a statement to the community that we acknowledge these cases exist, and when they do we're going to have safeguards in place to protect these people," Zarowsky said. "We need it in terms of making a statement about what our society values."

During a recent symposium on the topic at the UW Law School, Northrop's co-defendant said the only work he'd been able to find in the past eight months was three days in construction.

"I'm one step away from holding a sign up that says 'will work for food,'" Davis said. "It'd sure be nice to have some help."
 

plot

Morning Boehner
Oct 16, 2006
20,015
4,145
323
kansas city
Marklar
1,877.10₥
guy here spent like 6 years in jail after being wrongfully sentenced. know what he did? sued. got 15 million. (the high amount took into account he was an extremely successful business owner that lost everything... figured up he lost about 15million while in jail)
 

OzSTEEZ

¡ɟɟo ʞɔnɟ ʇunɔ 'ᴉO
Nov 11, 2008
33,922
8,399
473
38
Oz
Marklar
25,442.40₥
That's a nice sum..

The least they could do for this guy is pay his rent and bills for a few years. Give him a small pay each month.. Very least they could do..
 

plot

Morning Boehner
Oct 16, 2006
20,015
4,145
323
kansas city
Marklar
1,877.10₥
maybe. how many get released on a 19th appeal because someone didn't dot an i? thats not a wrongful conviction or someone not proved guilty, but a suspect who skated.

sex offender registry should be done away with. people who really should be on it, should be incarcerated. everyone else shouldn't be on there.

what about pardons?
 

OzSTEEZ

¡ɟɟo ʞɔnɟ ʇunɔ 'ᴉO
Nov 11, 2008
33,922
8,399
473
38
Oz
Marklar
25,442.40₥
I don't think it's as simple as not dotting an I. They can always reapply the charges..

And pardons are not wrongfully sentenced..
 

hilaryaustin

Flaccid Member
Jan 10, 2011
11
1
0
dallas
www.eyecream.com
Marklar
0.00₥
guy here spent like 6 years in jail after being wrongfully sentenced. know what he did? sued. got 15 million. (the high amount took into account he was an extremely successful business owner that lost everything... figured up he lost about 15million while in jail)
All that 15 million is not really enough if the person has family which he was away for 6 years. What if one member of his family died and he was not even there to contribute a help. Still justice is blind and innocent.
 

Black Manta

Flaccid Member
Jun 15, 2007
93
1
0
50
Marklar
0.00₥
Here in Ohio we have a program that will test evidence if the technology wasn't available at the time. We recently released a prisoner who was convicted of raping a six year old. There was DNA evidence that was tested wasn't his. So he was released ands had to watch a Cavs playoff game in which they lost by 30, which should be creul and unusual punishment.

What I hate about this program is that they won't concider cases in which the convict plead guilty. There are so many people that cut a deal with prosecution to avoid the death penalty, especially men in their early 20's. I just think that's wrong. If there is DNA evidence for these cases they should have the opportunity to be exonerated.