The State of Connecticut has awarded $6 million to a man wrongfully imprisoned after being convicted of rape and murder almost 25 years ago. So reports the Associated Press.
Kenneth Ireland was convicted at age 18 for the rape and murder of a mother of four. The Connecticut Innocence Project—an organization aimed at reversing wrongful convictions similar to the Innocence Project Northwest in Seattle—began reviewing Ireland’s case in 2007.
He was released in 2009 after post-conviction DNA testing proved that a different man had committed the crimes. The real perpetrator has since been convicted.
In the report authorizing the compensation award, the state claims commissioner noted that “no words or dollar amount will suffice to give [Ireland] back the time that he lost and the misery that he endured.”
Since his release, Ireland has been appointed to a paid position on Connecticut’s state parole board after the Governor of Connecticut praised Ireland’s commitment to public service despite “the unimaginable pain of two decades of wrongful incarceration.”
Like Connecticut, Washington State has a statute to compensate the wrongfully convicted. Washington caps compensation to the wrongfully convicted at $50,000 for each year wrongfully imprisoned.
Under the Washington law, Brandon Olebar of Seattle was awarded nearly $500,000 after he was wrongfully convicted of robbery and burglary and subsequently imprisoned for over 10 years. I wrote about Olbear’s award here.