The Delaware Wrongful Imprisonment Act passes through committee

DOVER, Del. – More criminal justice reform is moving forward in the First State through H.B. 196, which will give money to victims of wrongful imprisonment.

Under the legislation, the victims would receive $50,000 for each year of undue imprisonment. For those who meet the requirements for this program, the state of Delaware will not require them to pay state taxes but they will have to pay federal taxes on the compensation. If a victim was incarcerated for less than a year, then the amount is prorated to 1/365 of $50,000 for every day the victim was incarcerated.

33 states and the District of Columbia have established a process for compensating individuals who have been wrongly convicted and now so does Delaware.

“It provides them with that ‘we’re sorry’ and compensates them for the time that they were under the custody of the state of Delaware, and allows more people to live a productive life. It gives them that kind of compensation,” says Sen. Brian Pettyjohn, a Republican of Senate District 19.

The funding for the bill will come out of the general fund and distributed on a pay-as-you-go basis by appropriations. H.B. 196 still has to pass through the House and Senate before it goes to Gov. Carney’s desk for a signature.

Categories: Delaware, Local Politics