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Exonerated Prisoners Bill Faces Changes In Senate

Roosevelt Glenn stands at a podium addressing lawmakers at the statehouse

Roosevelt Glenn, who spent 17 years in prison for a rape he didn't commit, addresses a Senate committee. (Brandon Smith/IPB News)

A bill to provide payouts for people who were wrongfully incarcerated faces significant changes.

Lawmakers hope to address issues raised around the legislation.

The bill would create a fund that pays people imprisoned for a crime they didn’t commit $50,000 for each year they were locked up. It also bars people from suing the state if they take from the fund. Roosevelt Glenn spent 17 years in prison for a rape of which he wasn’t guilty. He doesn’t want to drop his lawsuit.

“Because of all the wrong that happened and what’s been found to have happened through the police department,” Glenn says.

The measure also says the agency that will handle the fund must investigate each case to determine if the person applying should get the money. Beth Powers works for the Innocence Project, a national group that works to overturn wrongful convictions.

“To prove their innocence again to get compensation – we just urge you to make it as straightforward and streamlined process as possible,” Powers says.

A Senate committee will consider changes to the bill as early as next week.

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

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