• James Townsend

Rep. Calley: New law ensures people who were wrongfully convicted get the compensation they are due


Nearly a dozen people who were previously wrongfully convicted of crimes in Michigan will now be able to seek compensation for the time they spent in prison after a plan championed by state Rep. Julie Calley was signed into law on March 3rd.

Calley, of Portland, said a law passed in 2016 compensates people who have been proven innocent for the time they spent wrongfully imprisoned. It intended to give anyone who had been wrongfully imprisoned 18 months to file a claim. At least 11 claims were later dismissed by the Court of Claims when the court said another section of state law limited the filing deadline to six months.

“No one who has served time in prison for a crime they didn’t commit should be denied the damages they are due because of a technicality,” Calley said. “Now, people who were wrongfully convicted and imprisoned in Michigan will be able to seek compensation, so they can get back on their feet and pursue a brighter tomorrow.”

The bipartisan plan – which Calley sponsored alongside Rep. Kyra Bolden (D-Southfield) and Sen. Paul Wojno (D-Warren) – will give people who were exonerated of a crime before the Wrongful Imprisonment Act went into effect on March 29, 2017, an additional 18 months to file a claim. All three measures received unanimous support in both the House and Senate.

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