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What does society owe people who've been wrongly convicted?

Photo courtesy Northern California Innocence Project
Exoneree Maurice Caldwell upon his release.


On this edition of Your Call, we’ll talk about what happens after someone is exonerated. What does society owe them?

According to the Innocence Project, people cleared through post-conviction DNA testing spend, on average, more than 14 years behind bars. When they get out, they struggle to find housing and work. Even in states where exonerees have a right to compensation or after they're releaed, it can be hard to access. What support do wrongfully convicted people need to rebuild their lives?


Paige Kaneb, supervising attorney with the Northern California Innocence Project (NCIP) at the Santa Clara University School of Law

Maurice Caldwell, exoneree, NCIP client, and advocate

Jon Eldan, director of After Innocence, an Oakland-based organization that offers exonerees help obtaining social, health, and legal services

Web Resources:

SF Chronicle: State makes it hard for wrongly convicted to be compensated for lost years

The Innocence Project: Compensating the Wrongly Convicted

Oakland Magazine: The Advocate

CNN: This man spent more years behind bars than any other wrongfully imprisoned person in America