People who have been wrongfully convicted in New Mexico have the right to be angry. If it is determined that your civil rights were violated, you have every right to demand compensation. You should know what’s available to you and how you can fight back.
Why should the state compensate you for a wrongful conviction?
Often, a wrongful conviction results in civil rights violations against the person. In addition, when someone is proven to be innocent of a crime, going back into society can be a challenge. This is due to the stigma attached to them after the wrongful conviction. If the individual does not get compensated for what they have endured, it just makes things that much worse. The state is obligated to provide compensation as soon as possible for wrongful convictions. It is compassionate and the right thing to do.
Compensation can be made in the following ways:
- Financial compensation based on a minimum amount for each year the individual served
- Services that include financial support for basic necessities, housing, medical, dental and counseling, education and job skills development and legal services to expunge criminal records, obtain benefits and regain custody of children
It’s also important that the government acknowledge that the person was wrongfully convicted and that there were civil rights violations against them. Taking ownership of the fact that the conviction was wrong is a first step in making things right.
Shortcomings of compensation statutes for wrongfully convicted people
Unfortunately, 14 states lack compensation laws. States that lack these laws must take the right steps in passing them to ensure that things are made right by people who have been wrongfully convicted.
An attorney might help you to prepare a lawsuit for your wrongful conviction. They may be able to protect your rights and help you to fight back to get justice.