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Idaho Lawmaker Wants The Wrongly Convicted To Get Restitution

James Dawson
/
Boise State Public Radio
Rep. Doug Ricks (R-Rexburg) wants Idaho to join other states in giving restitution to those who wrongly served prison time for crimes they didn't commit.

An Idaho lawmaker is drafting a bill that would allow people falsely convicted of a crime to get restitution.

The Post Register reports that Rep. Doug Ricks (R-Rexburg) was inspired to write the bill after a man was finally exonerated this summer after spending 20 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit.

Christopher Tapp had his conviction for the murder of Angie Dodge overturned in July, but Idaho is one of 15 states that doesn’t allow someone to recoup any damages after wrongfully spending time in prison.

Ricks tells the Post Register that he’s drafting his bill with the Innocence Project, a group that conducted DNA testing to prove Tapp wasn’t involved in Dodge’s murder.

He’s still working out the details, but he says monetary compensation will likely be included, noting that $50,000 a year is fairly standard across the country.

The Idaho Prosecuting Attorneys Association says it would need to see the bill before commenting on it.

State lawmakers will reconvene in Boise in January.

Follow James Dawson on Twitter @RadioDawson for more local news.

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I cover politics and a bit of everything else for Boise State Public Radio. Outside of public meetings, you can find me fly fishing, making cool things out of leather or watching the Seattle Mariners' latest rebuilding season. If you have a tip, please get in touch!

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