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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Senate Committee to Hear Innocence Commission Bill on April 10

The Senate Committee on Criminal Justice will hold a hearing on an innocence commission bill (SB 263) on Tuesday, April 10, 2007 in room E1.016 at 10 AM. They will also hear testimony on a bill to raise the amount of compensation for wrongful imprisonment to $50,000 per year or $100,000 per year if the person was sentenced to death.

The Innocence Commission would be empowered to investigate all "colorable allegations that an innocent person has been executed", as well as all exonerations to determine what went wrong in the system that resulted in an innocent person being prosecuted.

Of course, if the state is going to conduct investigations of cases where an innocent person has been executed, then they should also enact a two-year moratorium to make sure that no other innocent people are executed while the investigations are being done. Right now, the innocence commission bill does not include a moratorium provision, but at some point it should be amended to include such a provision.

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