Compensation for those wrongfully convicted clears Nevada Assembly
The bill that would provide compensation for people wrongfully convicted of a crime has passed the Assembly on a unanimous vote of the 40 members present.
Sponsor Steve Yeager, D-Las Vegas, said Assembly Bill 267 is a matter of fairness that is long overdue.
“It’s hard to comprehend the injustice of being prosecuted and convicted for a crime you did not commit,” he said.
Yeager pointed to the case of Demarlo Berry who was in prison more than 20 years before he was cleared of a murder he didn’t commit. He said the bill makes it, “loud and clear to Mr. Berry and others similarly situated that we’re very sorry for what happened to you and we’ll do our best to make it up to you.”
The bill provides $50,000 a year for those wrongfully imprisoned up to 10 years, $75,000 a year for those imprisoned up to 20 years and $100,000 a year for those who served longer than that. The bill also provides at least $25,000 a year for every year on parole and probation or required to register as a sex offender.
It also requires court to seal all records and issue a certificate of innocence to that individual.
The court could also award other relief including tuition payments and health care costs.
There was testimony during the committee hearings that experts only expect to see a very few wrongful conviction cases. The money would come from the legislative contingency account.
AB267 was transmitted to the Senate.