Wrongful imprisonment bills pass house

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LANSING — Bills to amend the Wrongful Imprisonment Compensation Act (WICA) were passed by the Michigan State House of Representatives today.

Reps. Kyra Bolden (D-Southfield)and Julie Calley (R-Portland), House Bills 5117 and 5118 introduced the bills respectively.

Individuals wrongfully imprisoned for crimes face barriers to receiving compensation for their imprisonment. The amendments would re-establish the intent of WICA and eliminate those barriers.

 “A simple error has served as a roadblock with major consequences for the people of our state for far too long,” Bolden said. “Through this bipartisan fix, we are fighting to right this wrong in order to put the WICA back on track to serve its intended purpose: offering rightful compensation and justice to those who have been wronged by our state’s actions.”

House Bill 5117 exempts claims filed under WICA from provisions required by the Court of Claims that create delays in implementation, in order to reestablish the original intent of the Act. House Bill 5118 would “restart the clock” for individuals released prior to WICA’s effective date of March 29, 2017, by allowing the 18-month window for filing claims to begin from the effective date of HB 5118.

Both bills were referred to the Michigan Senate for further consideration.

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