Clarifying Minnesota’s exoneration compensation laws

The Minnesota Imprisonment and Exoneration Remedies Act (MIERA) became law in 2014 to set up a framework for compensating people who had served prison time after wrongful convictions. After a recent Supreme Court decision this fall, it became apparent that a few clarifying updates were necessary to the law to ensure that, in the few instances of wrongful convictions, complainants would be eligible for compensation after being incarcerated for crimes they did not commit.

This legislation clarified portions of the definition of exoneration, set new limits for monetary damages for each year of incarceration for exonerated persons, and makes it so a claimant doesn’t have to wait until the next legislative session to receive their award. The legislation passed the Senate this week on a vote of 54 to 10. Similar language is included in the House version of the supplemental finance bill. (SF 2778)