OMAHA (AP) — Three people imprisoned for nearly 20 years for a murder they did not commit could each be entitled to $1 million if state lawmakers approve a bill.Senator Kent Rogert of Tekamah introduced the bill, LB260, that would provide for a minimum of $50,000 for each year an innocent person is incarcerated. It would provide an additional $50,000 for each year served on death row.
There are two reasons that the remaining states, including Idaho, should enact similar legislation. First, the State should admit that a mistake has been made and provide compensation for the mistake. That is how our civil and criminal justice system are supposed to work. Second, such legislation would save states money by avoiding expensive litigation and judgments.
Mr. Charles Fain, who spent 18 years thinking that the State of Idaho was going to kill him for a crime he did not commit, is an example of why Idaho needs to have a compensation law. It is the right thing to do and it would save the state money.