Paying back the innocent

In these jurisdictions people can make claims for years wrongly spent behind bars. But, 36 other states don't have compensation policies.

Jurisdiction Maximum awards Year passed

California $10,000 1941 Illinois Maximum is $147,000 1945 Iowa $50 a day, lost wages up to 1997 $25,000, and lawyer fees Maine $300,000, no punitive damages 1993 Maryland actual damages 1963 New Hampshire $20,000 1977 New Jersey Twice the amount of claimant's 1997 income in the year prior to incarceration or $20,000 per year of incarceration, whichever is greater New York No limit 1984 North Carolina $10,000 a year, $150,000 maximum 1947 Ohio $25,000 a year plus lost wages 1986 and lawyer fees Tennessee Actual damages 1955 Texas Up to $25,000 pain and suffering 1965 $50,000 West Virginia "Fair and reasonable" damages 1987 Wisconsin $25,000, but legislature may be 1943 petitioned for more Washington, D.C. No maximum, no punitive damages 1981 US (federal) $5,000 1948

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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