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​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Compensation


​Research and Publications

Compensation For Exonerees: A Primer - 10 June 2022​​

Among the most frequently asked questions about exonerations are how, and how many, exonerees get compensated. While the Registry does not have complete data on compensation - which happens many years after we have already researched and posted the exoneration - we give a short primer on what we know about how exonerees get compensated for the years they spent wrongfully imprisoned.



Jeffrey S. Gutman and Lingxiao Sun, Why is Mississippi the Best State in Which to be Exonerated? An Empirical Evaluation of State Statutory and Civil Compensation for the Wrongfully Convicted - Summer 2019


Jeffrey S. Gutman, An Empirical Reexamination of State Statutory Compensation for the Wrongly Convicted - 2017



Charts, Tables, & Lists

Key Provisions in Wrongful Conviction Compensation Law - 2022​
Courtesy of the Innocence Project, an overview of compensation laws by type and state.​


Compensation Statutes: A National Overview - 2 June 2022​

A chart that outlines which states offer compensation for the wrongly convicted, and what the process in each state consists of.

Compensation by the Numbers: State Statutory Compensation - 21 November 2022

Thirty-eight states and the District of Columbia now have state wrongful conviction compensation statutes.  How many exonerees listed in the Registry actually seek compensation under these statutes and how many are successful?  How much money have states paid to exonerees listed in the Registry, what is the average amount paid per year of wrongful incarceration, and how many years lost have​​​ been subject to state compensation? Over the last several years, the Registry and Professor Jeffrey Gutman have collaborated on a state-by-state empirical research project to answer these questions and more. A summary of that data is provided in the accompanying table. HERE​ is an explanation of the spreadsheet.​


Compensation by the Numbers: Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit Compensation -21 November 2022​

Exonerees may also file civil rights and tort lawsuits seeking compensation for their wrongful convictions. How many do so and what have the results of those lawsuits been? This spreadsheet, which will be updated periodically, shows state-by-state the numbers of successful and unsuccessful lawsuits, the amount of compensation received by successful exonerees, the average annual amounts of such compensation and the number of years lost to wrongful conviction compensated in the civil justice system. The Registry and Professor Jeffrey Gutman have collaborated on this empirical research project summarized in the accompanying table.​ HERE is an explanation of the spreadsheet.


Compensation Under The Microscope​

Professor​ Jeffrey Gutman periodically examines wrongful conviction compensation issues and developments arising in particular states as well as emerging trends and policy issues related to compensation with nationwide implications. ​