On this episode of BackBeat, the team dissects the disparity in exoneration compensation laws across the United States and the inspiration for the News Beat podcast episode "Exonerated and Broke."
You'll hear from Michael Conforti, AKA Manny Faces, Christopher Twarowski and Rashed Mian as they provide a behind the scenes look at the latest episode.
Listen to full episode here:
"Exonerated and Broke" featured:
- Alan Newton, an exoneree who spent 21 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit.
- Rebecca Brown, director of policy at the Innocence Project.
- Emily Bazelon, staff writer for The New York Times Magazine and co-host of the Slate Political Gabfest.
- Silent Knight, independent hip-hop artist and front man of The Band Called FUSE.
The episode included an accompanying article which investigated the issue in greater detail. Here's an excerpt.
Year after year, more and more people are getting exonerated. 2016 saw the highest number of exonerations (168), ever. But in another sense, an exoneration is an admission by the state, sometimes grudgingly, that it failed miserably in exacting justice. Oftentimes, those who have been proven innocent emerge from prison with absolutely nothing to help facilitate life afterward.
No identification. No prescription eyeglasses. Nowhere to sleep. No job prospects.
This horror is made excruciatingly more painful by the fact that many of these people even struggle to receive compensation for the years they spent locked up from the very same institutions that erred in charging and convicting them for crimes they did not commit. Only 32 states in the United States have exoneration compensation statutes on the books for people who were wrongfully convicted. In some instances, the laws fail to offer proportionate compensation to exonerees in relation to how many years they lost behind bars. And of the states that have such laws, most are “woefully inadequate,” Rebecca Brown, director of policy at the Innocence Project, tells the U.S. News Beat podcast team.
Here are links to outside sources mentioned in BackBeat:
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