Bill to compensate wrongly convicted heads to Idaho governor

Legislation to compensate people wrongly convicted of crimes in Idaho cleared the House on Tuesday and is headed to Republican Gov. Brad Little.

Lawmakers voted unanimously 70-0 to approve the measure that would pay $62,000 a year for wrongful incarceration and $75,000 per year to those who spent time on death row.

Backers say Idaho is one of 15 states that doesn’t compensate people sent to prison for crimes they didn’t commit. A similar measure cleared both the House and Senate last year, but was vetoed by the governor amid concerns it contained unfunded mandates in the form of education and medical expenses.

Lawmakers say Governor Little supports the new version that replaced those unfunded mandates with an increased lump-sum payment. The legislation also cleared the Senate unanimously 35-0 earlier this month.

Supporters say six people who served time in prison could qualify for a payment if the bill becomes law. (AP)

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