July 23, 2009

Exoneration Compensation

I don't usually want new laws. In fact, I want to revoke most that exist that sacrifice freedom for the sake of "intended" order or results-based initiatives. But, I have been riled up after watching the film "After Innocence" that depicts the exoneration and life after decades in prison of several innocent men. Each of the men were wrongly tried, and imprisoned for 10-30 years. Then, with the evolution of technology and the laborious push for a retrial, DNA evidence proved them innocent. Often, mistaken eye-witness accounts and over-zealous prosecutors ignored the evidence in the hopes of seeking immediate justice. Decades later, these men are released, without apology, and without a dime to their name. We are one of the only countries in the world without a loser-pay law system. If someone brings a frivolous lawsuit against you, and you go to court and win hands-down, you're still responsible for your entire court costs and legal fees. Similarly, we have in this country a loser-pay legal system. We take your life for 20 years, and we were wrong. We don't owe you a dime. Think again.