Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Raised Bill No. 460

February Session, 2016

 

LCO No. 3186

 

*03186_______JUD*

Referred to Committee on JUDICIARY

 

Introduced by:

 

(JUD)

 

AN ACT CONCERNING COMPENSATION FOR WRONGFUL INCARCERATION.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 54-102uu of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) A person is eligible to receive compensation for wrongful incarceration if:

(1) Such person has been convicted by this state of one or more crimes, of which the person was innocent, has been sentenced to a term of imprisonment for such crime or crimes and has served all or part of such sentence; and

(2) (A) Such person's conviction was vacated or reversed and (i) the complaint or information dismissed on grounds of innocence, or (ii) the complaint or information dismissed on a ground consistent with innocence, provided such person proves actual innocence to the Claims Commissioner in the hearing conducted pursuant to subsection (c) of this section; or

(B) Such person's conviction was vacated or reversed and the complaint or information dismissed on a ground citing negligence or misconduct by any officer, agent, employee or official of the state or any political subdivision of the state that contributed to such person's arrest, prosecution, conviction or incarceration, without the court finding actual innocence, provided such decision is final.

(b) A person who meets the eligibility requirements of subsection (a) of this section may present a claim against the state for such compensation with the Claims Commissioner in accordance with the provisions of chapter 53. The provisions of said chapter shall be applicable to the presentment, hearing and determination of such claim except as otherwise provided in this section.

(c) At the hearing on such claim, such person shall have the burden of establishing by a preponderance of the evidence that such person meets the eligibility requirements of subsection (a) of this section, and actual innocence if the complaint or information was dismissed on a ground consistent with innocence or a ground citing negligence or misconduct by any officer, agent, employee or official of the state or any political subdivision of the state that contributed to such person's arrest, prosecution, conviction or incarceration, without the court finding actual innocence. In addition, such person shall present evidence as to [the damages suffered by such person which may include, but are not limited to, claims for loss of liberty and enjoyment of life, loss of earnings, loss of earning capacity, loss of familial relationships, loss of reputation, physical pain and suffering, mental pain and suffering and attorney's fees and other expenses] (1) the person's age, income, vocational training and level of education at the time of conviction, (2) loss of familial relationships, (3) damage to reputation, (4) the severity of the crime for which such person was convicted and whether such person spent any time on death row, (5) whether such person was required to register pursuant to section 54-251 or 54-252, and for what length of time such person complied with the registration requirements of chapter 969, and (6) any other damages such person may have suffered arising from or related to such person's arrest, prosecution, conviction and wrongful incarceration.

(d) (1) If the Claims Commissioner determines that such person has established such person's eligibility under subsection (a) of this section by a preponderance of the evidence, the Claims Commissioner shall order the immediate payment to such person of compensation for such wrongful incarceration in an amount determined pursuant to subdivision (2) of this subsection, unless such person requests, in accordance section 4-154, that the General Assembly review such claim for the sole purpose of confirming or modifying the amount of the award determined by the Claims Commissioner, in which case the General Assembly shall review and dispose of any such claim in accordance with section 4-159. If the General Assembly modifies the amount of the claim, the General Assembly may award any amount the General Assembly deems just and reasonable.

(2) In determining the amount of such compensation, the Claims Commissioner shall [consider] award an amount based on the median state income of each year such person was incarcerated, adjusted for inflation using the consumer price index for urban consumers, provided the amount for any partial year shall be prorated in order to compensate only for the portion of such year in which such person was incarcerated. The Claims Commissioner may increase or decrease the award amount by twenty-five per cent based on an assessment of relevant factors including, but not limited to, the evidence presented by the person under subdivisions (1) to (6), inclusive, of subsection (c) of this section. [as to the damages suffered by such person and whether any]

(3) In the case where the person's conviction was vacated or reversed and the complaint or information dismissed on a ground citing negligence or misconduct by any officer, agent, employee or official of the state or any political subdivision of the state contributed to such person's arrest, prosecution, conviction or incarceration, without the court finding actual innocence, and such person failed to prove actual innocence by a preponderance of the evidence presented pursuant to subsection (c) of this section, the Claims Commissioner shall reduce the award amount calculated pursuant to subdivision (2) of this subsection by fifty per cent.

(e) In addition to the compensation paid under subsection (d) of this section, the Claims Commissioner may order payment for the expenses of employment training and counseling, tuition and fees at any constituent unit of the state system of higher education and any other services such person may need to facilitate such person's reintegration into the community.

(f) Any person claiming compensation under this section based on a pardon that was granted or the dismissal of a complaint or information that occurred before October 1, 2008, shall file such claim not later than two years after October 1, 2008. Any person claiming compensation under this section based on a pardon that was granted or the dismissal of a complaint that occurred on or after October 1, 2008, shall file such claim not later than two years after the date of such pardon or dismissal.

(g) [Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent such person from pursuing] No person compensated pursuant to this section shall be allowed to pursue any other action or remedy at law or in equity [that such person may have] against the state and any political subdivision of the state and any officer, agent, employee or official thereof arising out of such wrongful conviction and incarceration for which such person was so compensated.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

from passage

54-102uu

Statement of Purpose:

To amend the procedure for compensating wrongfully incarcerated persons to require the Claims Commissioner to employ a formula to determine awards, and that such awards be decreased when the claim is based on a vacated or reversed conviction where the complaint or information was dismissed on a ground citing negligence or misconduct by any officer, agent, employee or official of the state or any political subdivision of the state that contributed to such person's arrest, prosecution, conviction or incarceration, and such person could not prove actual innocence to the Claims Commissioner.

[Proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by underline, except that when the entire text of a bill or resolution or a section of a bill or resolution is new, it is not underlined.]