Oklahoma’s House Minority Leader, Cyndi Munson, pushes for bipartisan support to increase compensation for wrongly jailed individuals as reported by The Duncan Banner. The current $175,000 cap, no matter the years served, may change after notable exonerations.
Push for Justice Gains Momentum
Munson urges a bipartisan effort to tweak compensation laws, spurred by recent high-profile cases. Notable ones include Glynn Simmons, with the nation’s longest wrongful sentence, and Perry Lott, freed after 30 years through DNA testing.
Munson’s proposal suggests $50,000 yearly compensation, with added benefits.
Challenges arise in assessing fair payouts, highlighted by cases like Ricky Dority’s 24-year ordeal. Critics argue the current $175,000 flat rate falls short, prompting talks about a nuanced compensation system.
Striving for Equitable Compensation
Munson’s proposal includes monthly payments and extra benefits to aid exonerees in societal reintegration. Oklahoma navigates aligning its policies with federal and state standards, where compensations range from $50,000 to $80,000 per wrongful year.
As Munson’s bill extends to the 2024 session, discussions broaden to not only compensate exonerees but also address the lasting impacts on lives and families.