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Southfield, Mich. — April 24, 2015 — Senate Bill 0291 (SB 0291), introduced to the Michigan Senate on April 23 by Sen. Steve Bieda, D-Warren, would provide payment to Michigan residents who are wrongfully sent to prison. Neil Rockind, founder of Southfield-based criminal defense law firm, Rockind Law, is in strong support of the new legislation, which is similar to legislation already in place in 30 other states.
“SB 0291 brings renewed attention to a serious flaw in our criminal justice system,” Rockind said. “When given the opportunity in Dec. 2014 to make changes to the current law, Michigan legislators showed cowardice in their failure to support a bill to provide state-sponsored financial redress to the exonerated. I am happy the Senate is readdressing this important issue and I strongly support the new proposed legislation.”
The driving factors of SB 0291, which has bipartisan support, are to exonerate people wrongly imprisoned and to make it mandatory for the state to provide services to these individuals.
“Currently, the state helps individuals who were actually found guilty get back on their feet once finished serving their sentence or out on parole,” Rockind said. “There is a major disconnect when the state of Michigan helps former prisoners find jobs, housing and healthcare, yet offers no services or remuneration when someone is released after being wrongly imprisoned.”
Under SB 0291, if an individual is wrongly convicted and imprisoned, they shall be awarded the following compensation:
– $60,000 for each year the individual was imprisoned, from the day the sentence began until the date of release
– Economic damages such as lost wages, actual costs including attorney fees, medical expenses related to the imprisonment, etc.
– Reimbursement for any amount awarded/collected by the state of Michigan
To read the entire language of SB 0291, click here.
About Rockind Law
Rockind Law is a Southfield, Michigan-based criminal defense law firm aggressively pursuing justice for individuals facing criminal charges, including white collar crime, drunk driving, narcotics and assault. To find out more about the firm’s services and resources, visit http://www.rockindlaw.com/.