Wojno Bill on Wrongful Conviction Compensation Signed by Whitmer

LANSING — Today, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed into law legislation sponsored by Sen. Paul Wojno (D-Warren) to improve the Wrongful Victim Compensation Act by giving exonerees more time to receive compensation.

“Ensuring justice for exonerated individuals means giving them actual opportunities to receive the compensation they are entitled to, and it’s my hope that those who have missed the opportunity to start anew after wrongful imprisonment can now do so,” Sen. Wojno said. “I’m so pleased to have this legislation signed into law and thankful to my colleagues in the Legislature for their support with this bill package.”

In 2016, the Wrongful Imprisonment Compensation Fund was created to compensate individuals who were wrongfully convicted and imprisoned. In 2018, the Court of Claims ruled that claims brought under the Wrongful Imprisonment Compensation Act are subject to a six-month notice of intention to file a claim requirement, meaning exonerees who did not file by September 29, 2017 have been unable to receive compensation.

Sen. Wojno’s legislation, Senate Bill 68, was introduced on Jan. 29, 2019. It unanimously passed the Senate on Feb. 11 and then the House on Feb. 18 of this year, and was tie-barred to House Bills 5117 and 5118, sponsored by Rep. Kyra Harris Bolden (D-Southfield) and Rep. Julie Calley (R-Portland), respectively.

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