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How much is 23 years of your life worth?

DALLAS – Thomas McGowan's journey from prison to prosperity is about to culminate in $1.8 million, and he knows just how to spend it: on a house with three bedrooms, stainless steel kitchen appliances and a washer and dryer.

"I'll let my girlfriend pick out the rest," said McGowan, who was exonerated last year based on DNA evidence after spending nearly 23 years in prison for rape and robbery.

He and other exonerees in Texas, which leads the nation in freeing the wrongly convicted, soon will become instant millionaires under a new state law that took effect this week.

Exonerees will get $80,000 for each year they spent behind bars. The compensation also includes lifetime annuity payments that for most of the wrongly convicted are worth between $40,000 and $50,000 a year — making it by far the nation's most generous package.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090904/ap_on_re_us/us_exoneree_millionaires

Answer Question
 
sweet-a-kins

Asked by sweet-a-kins at 4:02 PM on Sep. 4, 2009 in Politics & Current Events

Level 34 (67,502 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • Works for me. Glad he has been proven not guilty.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:04 PM on Sep. 4, 2009

  • They should be paid however much it cost to keep them wrongly in jail all those years- plus extra for pain and suffering.
    mummy22kids

    Answer by mummy22kids at 4:06 PM on Sep. 4, 2009

  • Well I just turned 24 two months ago and I'm pretty sure I hadn't racked up 1.8million worth of spending yet. By the way is this part of the stimulus package??
    usmc0351wife

    Answer by usmc0351wife at 4:29 PM on Sep. 4, 2009

  • $80,000 a year can't buy back the lost years of your life and time with your family and loved ones, but at least it's a reasonable amount.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:31 PM on Sep. 4, 2009

  • $80,000 a year can't buy back the lost years of your life and time with your family and loved ones, but at least it's a reasonable amount.

    I agree!!!! Hopefully it will make whats left of his life better.
    misssy2000

    Answer by misssy2000 at 4:49 PM on Sep. 4, 2009

  • That's more than a reasonable amount...I'm actually quite shocked they didn't cap it at a median average for each year they were incarcerated.

    Who's paying btw? Taxpayers of TX or is there some fund provided for by a private entity?
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:41 PM on Sep. 4, 2009

  • The drumbeat of DNA exonerations caused lawmakers this year to increase the compensation for the wrongly convicted, which had been $50,000 for each year of prison. Glasheen, the attorney, advised his clients to drop their federal civil rights lawsuits and then led the lobbying efforts for the bill.

    Besides the lump sum and the monthly annuity payments, the bill includes 120 hours of paid tuition at a public college. It also gives exonerees an additional $25,000 for each year they spent on parole or as registered sex offenders.

    No other state has such a provision, according to the Innocence Project.

    Exonerees who collected lump sum payments under the old compensation law are ineligible for the new lump sums but will receive the annuities. Whether the money will be subject to taxes remains unsettled, Glasheen said.
    sweet-a-kins

    Answer by sweet-a-kins at 5:44 PM on Sep. 4, 2009

  • I think this is great! He probably deserves a lot more than that considering what he's been through; however, he can never get that time back.
    lowencope

    Answer by lowencope at 6:32 PM on Sep. 4, 2009

  • Being falsely imprisoned is horrible, but I hope the $$$ keeps them happy for a very long time!!!
    agentwanda

    Answer by agentwanda at 7:16 PM on Sep. 4, 2009

  • Whether the money will be subject to taxes remains unsettled, Glasheen said.



    Ok well I'm down with them being paid restitution of sorts for having their lives taken from them for however many years they were wrongly imprisoned; but uh the annuity payments at the very least should be taxed...
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:42 PM on Sep. 4, 2009

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