Mayor Glover: Exonerated prisoners deserve more

Published: Mar. 13, 2014 at 5:56 AM CDT|Updated: Mar. 27, 2014 at 2:27 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - With more exonerated prisoners being set free after serving time for crimes they did not commit, some are questioning whether they are getting enough in reparations.

Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover spoke out on the issue Wednesday, a day after the release of Glenn Ford from the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola.

"Lives ripped apart, ruined, futures dashed away," says Glover.

A state Representative before he became the Mayor of Shreveport, Glover says he was horrified when he learned in 2004 that those exonerated in the State of Louisiana were not eligible for compensation for years lost serving undeserved sentences.

That's when he says he got to work on passing legislation to give those who served time after being wrongfully convicted something for the years they lost.

In 2005, the Louisiana Legislature passed House Bill 663, which offered $15,000 for each year a person was wrongfully incarcerated with a cap of $150,000.

Since then, reparations in Louisiana for those exonerated have risen to $25,000 a year with a $250,000 cap. They are also eligible for another $80,000 for skills and job training.

But even with the increase, Glover says Louisiana is not paying out nearly enough. "We ought to do a better job of attempting to do so in Louisiana"

The amount of money a person is owed for wrongful incarceration varies depending on the state.

In Colorado, its $70,000 for each year of wrongful incarceration. In Florida, its up to $50,000 a year with a $2 million cap. Texas offers the highest reparations to wrongly-accused inmates, totaling $80,000 for each year served.

According to The Innocence Project, 81% of exonerated people get less than the state's average.

"What they deserve, you cannot put a price on that," says Glover.

In Louisiana, those seeking reparations for wrongful incarceration must file a civil lawsuit.

Copyright 2014 KSLA. All rights reserved.