Panel OKs plan to raise state payments to innocent

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

RALEIGH (AP) ó A plan to increase the payments given to people who are erroneously convicted is advancing in the Senate.
A Senate judiciary committee on today approved a measure that would allow people who are granted pardons of innocence from the governor to receive $50,000 for each year spent behind bars. Current state law allows them to receive $20,000 for each year served.
Bill sponsor Rep. Rick Glazier, a Cumberland County Democrat, said the federal government has recommended the compensation level. He said about two dozen other states have adopted the standard.
The compensation bill now heads to the Senate Appropriations Committee, which must approve the plan before it can be sent to the Senate floor. The House passed the plan earlier this month.
Lawmakers are making a last-minute push to get legislation approved before adjourning later this month.