Compensation for Wrongfully Convicted Now Law

Gov. Rick Perry has signed into law a bill that increases the compensation paid to people who are wrongfully convicted and sent to prison for crimes they didn't commit.

The new law boosts lump-sum payments from $50,000 to $80,000 for every year of confinement and grants an annuity to provide a lifetime of income.

Exonerees would get 120 hours of paid tuition at a career center or public college.

The law is named the Tim Cole Act, for a Fort Worth man who died in prison in 1999 while serving time for a rape that DNA testing later showed he did not commit.

Perry signed the bill on the same day Jerry Lee Evans was relased from prison after DNA testing exonerated him of a 1986 sexual assault. The 47-year-old man served nearly 23 years in prison.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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