Tag Archives: Prison

A Former Prison Warden’s View on Innocence Work

Several years ago I got an unusual request.  A former prison warden wanted to volunteer for the California Innocence Project.  I was cautious at first, but soon learned what a great resource and great person Jim Allen is.  Read here what he thinks about the plight of the wrongfully convicted.


An Exoneree’s Perspective on the Quantum and Adequacy of Compensation

Jeffrey Deskovic is not your archetypal exoneree. He holds strong views about the subject of wrongful conviction, and even stronger views on the sufficiency of state compensation for victims of wrongful convictions. In his article entitled – A Critique of Innocence Project Report on Exoneree Compensation ‘Making Up for Lost Time’ – he critiqued some of the recommendations made by the Innocent Project.

His views were in direct response to  the Project’s report on the question of legislating compensation and the reasonableness thereof. See pdf report – http://www.innocenceproject.org/docs/Innocence_Project_Compensation_Report.pdf

Jeffrey goes on in his article to make the point that, compensating the innocent must be sue generis. It must take account of each individual’s circumstances; station in life, pain and suffering, education, present and future earnings et al. Read his article herehttp://www.examiner.com/article/a-critique-of-innocence-project-report-on-exoneree-compensation-making-up-for-lost-time

While his criticism does weigh up the issues, and on balance, seem to tilt towards a case by case consideration of each application, it is submitted that, the courts still remain the best fora to determine what is best, or what represents adequate compensation for each victim. No legislation can set the amount of compensation in stone for every given situation. What a Statute does, and can do, is to set a benchmark, albeit a guide for the courts to be guided by in coming to a decision on compensation. The ultimate decision will always boil down to each individual circumstances.