Connecticut legislators awarded $5 million to James Tillman this month to help him get his life back on track after 18 years behind bars for a rape he didn’t commit, says the Christian Science Monitor. The Florida Legislature denied Alan Crotzer’s request for $1.25 million and let a bill die that would have standardized a compensation system for victims of wrongful conviction. Crotzer served more than 24 years in a prison until DNA evidence cleared him of rape and kidnapping.
The cases result from a patchwork of compensation laws. Of the 200 men who have been exonerated based on DNA evidence, about 45 percent have received some sort of compensation, says the Innocence Project, with amounts that range from $25,000 to $12.2 million. Twenty-one states, along with the federal government and the District of Columbia, have standardized compensation laws offering exonerees amounts ranging from $15,000 total to $50,000 per year of imprisonment.