Compensation Legislation for the Wrongfully Convicted sign now

Around the world public interest on the occurrence of wrongful convictions is increasing. In many countries policies, procedures and even legislation is in place which guides the government and other not for profit organisations in acting once an exonoree has been proved innocent.

In the United Kingdom cases are reviewed by the Criminal Cases Review Commission and once an applicant is deemed by the commission to have a real possibility of overturning their conviction they refer the applicant onward to an appellate court (Lincoln & Morrison, 2006). Once the conviction of an applicant who has suffered a miscarriage of justice is overturned the government relies statutory provisions which were enacted in 2006 to award compensation. In the United States this legislation is also present in 27 states (The Innocence Project). Nevertheless, it is reported that only one-third of those who have suffered such a miscarriage of justice have been awarded compensation for wrongful time incarcerated (The Innocence Project).

With regard to the non financial status of exonorees, organisations such as The Innocence Project aim to firstly prove the innocence of those wrongfully convicted and subsequently connect them with each other. Additionally, research and literature on the effects of the wrongfully convicted has taken place with suggestions of support groups for reintegration into society and compensation guidelines and/or legislation to be put in place in Australia.

In Australia no such policies, procedures or legislation exist to aide those that are wrongfully convicted. When a miscarriage of justice occurs in Australia the exonoree is required to employ the assistance of legal professionals in order to petition to the Attorney General for compensation. The Attorney General however, is permitted to act with his own discretion therefore allowing him to deny such compensation when he chooses.

What can you do?

Take a stand and sign our petition to help encourage our government to enact legislation that makes it mandatory to award those that are wrongfully convicted with compensation.

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