Press Release: Eklund Introduces Legislation To Ensure Fair Compensation For Wrongful Imprisonment
COLUMBUS - State Senators John Eklund
(R-Munson Township) and Vernon Sykes (D-Akron) today introduced legislation to create a more fair process of compensating individuals who have been wrongfully imprisoned—upholding the rights of Ohioans who have been treated unfairly.
“Individuals who are wrongfully imprisoned due to constitutional violations beforesentencing are no less harmed than those whose rights are violated after sentencing,” Senator Eklund stated. “Fairness dictates that they have access to the same remedy.”
Provisions of the bill will allow individuals who are wrongfully imprisoned due to the prosecutor withholding evidence, either before or during the trial, to receive compensation. Under current law, compensation is only available in the unlikely event that procedural errors are made after sentencing.
“This bill will bring justice to people who have been wronged by our judicial process,” said Senator Sykes. “The state cannot give back the years individuals unjustly spent in prison, but it can, and should, provide compensation that individuals rightfully deserve.”
The bill also extends the right to receive compensation to individuals wrongfully imprisoned for misdemeanor offenses. Current law restricts compensation to felony-level offenses.
Senate Bill 248 will now be referred to a Senate committee where it will receive further consideration.