Five years ago, Anthony Robinson helped persuade Texas lawmakers to compensate people sent to prison for crimes they didn’t commit, the Houston Chronicle reports. Robinson, who spent a decade in prison after being wrongfully convicted of rape, has received nearly a quarter of a million dollars from the state and has earned a law degree. When the legislature convenes again in January, he will lobby to expand the amount of money it provides for people who find themselves in the same unenviable position. “People don’t realize that even if you gave them a million dollars a year, the injury goes beyond what the compensation can possibly give to make up for it,” said Robinson, 45.
Texas pays exonerated people $25,000 for each year they were incarcerated. The law has a $500,000 cap, but a proposal by Sen. Rodney Ellis would eliminate the cap and increase the payments – to $50,000 a year for a noncapital crime and $100,000 for capital case – to match the law for people exonerated from federal courts. Robinson was sentenced to 27 years in prison for a 1986 sexual assault. He served 10 years before he was released on parole. After a DNA test exonerated him, he was pardoned in 2000.