When James Calvin Tillman, the East Hartford man who spent 18 years in prison for a rape he didn’t commit, appears before the Connecticut legislature in its coming session to ask for compensation, he can expect a warm reception, a state representative says. “My sense is, if Mr. Tillman shows up – and I expect he will – the legislature will bend over backwards to be very generous to him,” Rep. Michael P. Lawlor, D-East Haven, told the Journal Inquirer.
Lawlor, who co-chairs the legislature’s Judiciary Committee, is also a member of the state Advisory Commission on Wrongful Convictions, where he made his remarks at its biannual meeting. The commission was created in 2003 to review wrongful convictions. Twenty-two states and the federal government now provide compensation to the wrongfully convicted, with amounts ranging from $20,000 in New Hampshire and $1 million in Tennessee to up to $100,000 per year for federal imprisonment.