Jensie Anderson, a Clinical Professor of Law at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law and president of the Rocky Mountain Innocence Center, was quoted in a November 20 article in The Salt Lake Tribune titled “Prison term might earn state payout.”
According to the article, 56-year-old Harry Miller spent 4-1/2 years in prison for robbery before charges against him were dropped. On November 19, the Utah Court of Appeals ruled that he should get a new hearing to prove his innocence, which would make him eligible for about $160,000 in state compensation. Miller is the first person to ask for payment for wrongful imprisonment under a new state law.
Miller’s attorney, Andrew McCullough called the outcome “a tremendous victory.”
In the article, Anderson notes that the new law, which the Rocky Mountain Innocence Center helped draft, requires that people prove they are “factually innocent” in a court hearing in order to avoid paying compensation to those freed on a technicality.