Rabb introduces bill to compensate exonerees

HARRISBURG, Aug. 5 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., has introduced House Bill 2745, which provides for an annual payment from the Commonwealth to an exoneree for every year that exoneree was wrongfully incarcerated.  

“I am working with the Pennsylvania Innocence Project and other key stakeholders to try and give back a bit of what has been taken from folks who were wrongfully convicted,” Rabb said. “The state can never make things fully right, but this bill aims for broad restitution.”  

Pennsylvania is one of only 15 states without a law to compensate the innocent for years lost in prison after a wrongful conviction. The bill would create a trust fund to invest in much-needed social services on behalf of each exoneree to help them successfully rejoin their communities and create a tax credit aimed at partnering with community development financial institutions (CDFIs) to grow the fund while expanding investment opportunities in and for economically distressed communities. 

“As legislators, we must recognize that when the state unjustly takes a person’s liberty, we have a responsibility to help repair the damage caused,” Rabb said. “We owe it to exonerees to do all that’s in our power to give them the liberty and justice they deserve.”