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Study: Virginia lags on compensation for wrongly imprisoned

(AP) A recent study has found that Virginia falls behind some other states when it comes to compensating innocent people who were wrongfully sent to prison.

The study was conducted by staff of the Virginia House Appropriations Committee, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported. It suggested that lawmakers consider setting a minimum award per year of imprisonment.

Virginia is among more than 30 states that has a law to compensate wrongfully convicted persons for their imprisonment. And since 2004, the General Assembly has made 25 awards to wrongfully convicted persons.

But the average compensation amount in Virginia has been about $46,895 per year of wrongful imprisonment. That’s lower than the average of $70,157 awarded in other states. It’s also lower than the the $50,000 a year minimum annual award in 17 states.

Advocates for the wrongfully convicted as well as some state lawmakers say that changes are needed.

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