An exoneree’s story does not end when they walk out of prison and back into society. After spending years in prison for a crime they did not commit, the exoneree must rebuild a life with years of lost income, little credit, and no retirement. Georgia is one of the few states that does not have a statute setting out how to fairly and efficiently compensate its exonerees. Exonerees must instead ask state representatives to present a resolution to the General Assembly. If the resolution passes through both chambers of the legislature, then the exoneree can receive some compensation for the trauma and loss suffered from the wrongful conviction. This confusing process results in inconsistent outcomes for exonerees, influenced by the political climate of a particular legislative session. Georgia should look to states with compensation statutes, learn from them, and pass a bill of its own. Several representatives tried to do so in the 2022 Legislative Session. House Bill 1354 passed the House but never made it out of the Senate Judiciary Committee. This Note discusses the strengths and weaknesses of that bill and improvements that could be made next term to enable it to pass through the Georgia General Assembly.
"Complicated Mercy: Compensating the Wrongfully Convicted in Georgia,"
Georgia Law Review: Vol. 56:
3, Article 9.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.uga.edu/glr/vol56/iss3/9