In Oklahoma, a man cleared from murder charges who served 28 years behind bars is entitled to just $6,250 for each year that he was wrongfully incarcerated. Oklahoma state law awards a maximum of $175,000 to individuals who are wrongfully convicted and are then exonerated.
While thirty-five states, including Oklahoma—and most recently, Indiana and Nevada—have exoneration compensation laws in place, many states offer no compensation. Such state laws do not exist in Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Rhode Island, and Wyoming. Some states set provisions, such as incremental payment schemes, which may begin years after an exoneree is released from prison.
While the absence of an exoneration compensation law (or cap on such compensation, in some states), may make it difficult for individuals freed from jail to rebuild their lives, a potential civil rights lawsuit for wrongful conviction may lead to a settlement or verdict. Depending on the circumstances of your situation, you may be able to file a lawsuit to recover compensation if you or a loved one was wrongfully convicted of a crime. Call (855) 244-2031 for a confidential evaluation of your potential claim.