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Criteria for Compensating Those Wrongly Convicted Lessened by Florida Governor

July 25, 2017 Uncategorized

In July 2017 Florida Governor, Rick Scott changed the legislation that compensates wrongly convicted inmates.

In 2008 an act was passed that stated any inmate convicted of a crime they did not commit would receive 50,000 dollars for every year served in prison. However, the Clean Hands Provision, stated if the exoneree had a separate, unrelated felony that the state of Florida did not have to pay the restitution. Unfortunately, minorities are at highest risk of being arrested and convicted. In addition, inmates convicted of felonies have a very high probability of being convicted of another crime/felony they did not commit. Due to the Clean Hands Provision only a few inmates who were exonerated received their compensation. Most of them were cleared by DNA evidence.

Now the Clean Hands Provision states if an inmate has a previous violent felony or two previous nonviolent felonies on his/her record that the state can withhold their restitution. While, this is still not ideal, it is at least an improvement.

ArborYpsi Law Take Aways

Those who are wrongly convicted of a felony deserve every penny of compensation from the state. It should not matter if they have a previous felony on their record. If they are serving time for someone else’s crime, it is only fair they receive restitution when the truth surfaces. Taking away an exonerated man’s freedom is unethical and immoral. The least the state can do is to pay him or her appropriately. Hopefully, in the future the Clean Hands Provision will be eliminated. If an exoneree has served their time for previous crimes and is in prison for a crime they did not commit it should not matter what is on their record. An innocent person is entitled to restitution no matter what their criminal history.

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Call Sam Bernstein at 734-883-9584 or e-mail at

Sam Bernstein is an Ann Arbor attorney

ArborYpsi Law is located at 4158 Washtenaw Ave. Ann Arbor, MI 48108.

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