Prior to 2013, Washington provided no compensation for those who had been wrongfully convicted and incarcerated. Serving years and even decades in prison for a crime you didn’t commit and then being exonerated and released with no compensation under the law was a tragedy. In 2013, the governor of Washington signed a bill to compensate the wrongfully convicted and incarcerated once their conviction was reversed or vacated based on evidence of actual innocence. Think about it. You’ve lost a job, career, friends and family. In essence, your life was destroyed. Time spent in prison is something you can never get back. This relatively new law in Washington was championed by the Innocence Project Northwest Legislative Advocacy Clinic.
Engrossed Substitute House Bill 1341: Attorney Kent W. Underwood
This specific bill set up the framework for compensation for those who have been wrongfully convicted and imprisoned in Washington. It is the bill that allows the wrongfully convicted to file a claim for damages. The claim must be filed in the superior court that they were sentenced. The original charging documents must also be dismissed based on significant new evidence. Any person claiming compensation who has had their case ordered to be retried in court and later found not guilty are entitled to file a claim. The attorney general handles all claims. If the attorney general concedes that the individual was wrongfully convicted, the court must award compensation. To see if you are entitled to file a claim, be sure to contact attorney Kent W. Underwood. He’s the Tacoma wrongful incarceration compensation lawyer who has experience in getting what you deserve.
Get What You’re Entitled to with a Tacoma Wrongful Incarceration Lawyer
With attorney Kent W. Underwood, you’ll get the legal support to get justice. Here’s a list of what you’re entitled to under the new bill:
- $50,000.00 for each year of actual confinement, including time spent awaiting trial, and an additional $50,000.00 for each year served under a sentence of death.
- $25,000.00 for each year served on parole, community custody or as a registered sex offender.
- Those wrongfully imprisoned are also entitled to compensation for child support payments that were missed and accrued interest due to the claimant’s wrongful confinement.
- Those wrongfully incarcerated are also entitled to reimbursement for all restitution, assessments, fees, court costs and all other payments or fees ordered by the court.
In addition to the monetary compensation, you may also be entitled to have the conviction and court record destroyed pursuant to the court rules. You can also take advantage of many reentry programs including but not limited to education, mentoring, job skills training as well as mental health counseling and substance abuse training. Although surviving a wrongful conviction can never be fully compensated, this bill aims to help those wrongfully convicted reenter society with the skills necessary to function in society, so they can lead a normal life once again.