Part I of this comment presents a brief overview of the current state compensation systems for those who are wrongly imprisoned, including model legislation proposed by the Innocence Project and the current shortcomings of compensation statutes across the United States. Part II discusses the principles behind compensatory damages in tort law, and the foundation and reasoning for making a victim whole again. Varying forms of relief are also discussed. Part III applies these principles of tort law to the arena of wrongful convictions to show states have a responsibility to make victims of wrongful convictions whole again. Potential problems arising from this reform and suggested solutions to any of those problems are also addressed. This comment concludes with an emphasis on the legal importance of correcting the injury done to innocent victims who are wrongfully incarcerated for crimes they did not commit. Innocent exonerees deserve to be placed in a similar position upon exoneration to where they could have been without the conviction.
Alanna Trivelli, Compensating the Wrongfully Convicted: A Proposal to Make Victims of Wrongful Incarceration Whole Again, 19 Rich. J. L. & Pub. Int. 257 (2016).