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Paying back the innocent

In these jurisdictions people can make claims for years wrongly spent behind bars. But, 36 other states don't have compensation policies.

Jurisdiction Maximum awards Year passed

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California $10,000 1941 Illinois Maximum is $147,000 1945 Iowa $50 a day, lost wages up to 1997 $25,000, and lawyer fees Maine $300,000, no punitive damages 1993 Maryland actual damages 1963 New Hampshire $20,000 1977 New Jersey Twice the amount of claimant's 1997 income in the year prior to incarceration or $20,000 per year of incarceration, whichever is greater New York No limit 1984 North Carolina $10,000 a year, $150,000 maximum 1947 Ohio $25,000 a year plus lost wages 1986 and lawyer fees Tennessee Actual damages 1955 Texas Up to $25,000 pain and suffering 1965 $50,000 West Virginia "Fair and reasonable" damages 1987 Wisconsin $25,000, but legislature may be 1943 petitioned for more Washington, D.C. No maximum, no punitive damages 1981 US (federal) $5,000 1948

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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