Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Substitute Bill No. 460

    February Session, 2016

 

*_____SB00460JUD___033016____*

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 Section 54-102uu of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):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) Such person's conviction was vacated or reversed and (A) the complaint or information dismissed by a court of competent jurisdiction on grounds of innocence, [or] (B) the complaint or information dismissed by a court of competent jurisdiction on a ground consistent with innocence, or (C) the complaint or information dismissed by a court of competent jurisdiction on a ground citing an act or omission 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.

(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. 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 was under a sentence of death pursuant to section 53a-46a for any period of time, (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 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 (A) such compensation award is in an amount exceeding twenty thousand dollars, or (B) such person requests, in accordance with section 4-158, that the General Assembly review such compensation award, in which cases the General Assembly shall review any such compensation award and the claim from which it arose not later than forty-five days after such claim is submitted to the General Assembly and may deny such claim or confirm or modify such compensation award. If the General Assembly modifies the amount of the compensation award, the General Assembly may award any amount of compensation the General Assembly deems just and reasonable. If the General Assembly takes no action on such compensation award or the claim from which it arose, the determination made by the Claims Commissioner shall be deemed confirmed.

(2) In determining the amount of such compensation, the Claims Commissioner shall [consider] award an amount based on the median household income for the state for each year such person was incarcerated, as determined by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, 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 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.]

(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) No person who is compensated pursuant to this section shall pursue any other action or remedy under state law or in equity against the state or any officer, agent, employee or official of the state arising out of such wrongful conviction and incarceration. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent any such person from pursuing 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.

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

Section 1

from passage

54-102uu

Statement of Legislative Commissioners:

In Section 1(a)(2) "by a court of competent jurisdiction" was added for internal consistency, in Section 1(c)(4), the reference to death row was changed to reference a sentence of death for accuracy and Section 1(d)(1) was rewritten for clarity and accuracy.

JUD

Joint Favorable Subst.