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Missouri man freed from prison may not receive any compensation

Posted at 5:12 PM, Aug 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-15 18:12:45-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After more than 20 years in prison, Missourian Ricky Kidd was freed from a Missouri prison Thursday afternoon.

When a person is exonerated after proving his or her innocence, compensation for being wrongfully imprisoned is not always guaranteed— it depends on where that individual lives.

Dozens of states, plus Washington D.C., have some form of compensation in place for the wrongly convicted.

Missouri has one of the strictest compensation laws.

Individuals in the state are provided compensation only if they are exonerated through DNA evidence.

In that specific circumstance, the individual is eligible for $50 a day of post-conviction confinement. The individual must file for compensation within one year of his or her release.

Across the state line in Kansas, a law is more favorable for individuals who are wrongly compensated.

Kansas passed House Bill 2579 in May 2018.

The state law provides $65,000 per year of wrongful conviction and $25,000 for each year of time wrongfully spent on parole. The state also provides non-monetary benefits such as housing and tuition assistance, financial literacy training, counseling and expungement of the wrongful conviction.

The Innocence Project has been pushing for all states to compensate exonerated people immediately after release with a “fixed sum or a range of recovery for each year of wrongful incarceration” and “provide immediate re-entry funds and access to job training, educational, health and legal services after an innocent person’s release.”

Here's a comparison of several Midwest states: