As the use of DNA evidence to reexamine criminal cases increases, the number of people convicted of crimes who have been exonerated by the new evidence grows, the New York Time reports. As a consequence, states are now grappling to find formulae for compensating those who have been wrongly convicted and imprisoned — in some cases for years.
The Times points to the cases of William Gregory and David Pope, both of whom were convicted of rape. Gregory, who served served seven years in a Kentucky prison, received $4.6 million in legal settlements for his false conviction. Pope, who did 15 years in a Texas prison, received $385,000 from the State of Texas.
“Once you open up those floodgates, where do you get all the money to pay for these falsely charged people?” said Pennsylvania Rep. Thomas R. Caltagirone, a lawmaker working on the issue in the Keystone State. “How much money is it going to require? How much is a person worth?”