Five men who have been exonerated for crimes that they did not commit, are currently seeking compensation from the state of Maryland for a collective 120 years spent in prison. The last time Maryland compensated anyone who was wrongfully convicted was in 2004 when Michael Austin received $1.4 million, but Gov. Larry Hogan is working on getting these five exonerees compensation. Kirk Bloodsworth, death row exoneree and WTI Executive Director, is among other exonerees who have been compensated by Maryland. Kirk shared his thoughts with the Washington Post on what compensation means to innocent men and women who lost years of their lives.
"Bloodsworth was the first person on death row cleared by DNA in the United States. After his exoneration, he helped lead the effort to end capital punishment in Maryland.
He now works as the executive director of Witness to Innocence, an advocacy organization in Philadelphia.
Bloodsworth said the state can never pay enough to make up for jailing him and the other exonerees without cause. He said the board considered the salary he made as a crab fisherman before his arrest in deciding how much to compensate him.
After paying off legal bills and other debts, he said, he was left with about $100,000 to help him launch his post-prison life.
“I have a job now, make a salary, I’m doing my thing,” he said.
But he will never feel as though the state has fully paid of its debt."
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Here's how wrongfully convicted Maryland prisoners were compensated in the past