DNA Compensation Bill Hits A Snag

Mar 5, 2014

A conference committee is trying to resolve differences between House and Senate versions of a bill that compensates people wrongly convicted of a crime.  The House version of the bill says that someone exonerated of a crime via DNA, still has to return to court and prove their innocence in order to get compensation. 

The Senate rejected that notion.  Bill Sponsor Keith Gingery says he doesn't like the House version, but that the bill is important and he doesn't want to lose it.

"I'm not sure it the Senate is going to go for it, so that's going to be the discussion, of this extra step they are putting in to the process.   And I hope that doesn't delay it because we really do need the bill and we do need to come up with some type of way to compensate people who are wrongfully imprisoned."

Speaker of the House Tom Lubnau and Cheyenne Republican Bob Nicholas added the language because they believe that a man exonerated via DNA evidence may not be completely innocent.

Senators rejected the House bill on a 30-0 vote. The legislature is scheduled to adjourn on Thursday.