Idaho Could Soon Compensate Those Wrongfully Convicted
Did you know that Idaho is one of only 15 states in the country that does not compensate individuals who have been wrongfully convicted? Well, that could soon change. According to KTVB, a new bill would allow the state to hand over a large chunk of change to those that have been exonerated of their crimes.
Rep. Doug Ricks says Idaho should learn from the past. In the 1990s, a man named Christopher Tapp was convicted in the rape and murder of then 18-year-old Angie Dodge. Last year, DNA evidence linked a Caldwell man named Brian Dripp of the crimes and Tapp was exonerated.
The argument is that prisoners who are nearing the end of their sentences have resources before they return to the real world. However, when someone is wrongfully convicted, "we essentially just let them out of prison, drop them off on the side of the street and say sorry.”
Boise State has a connection to this project too. The Idaho Innocence Project led by BSU professor Greg Hampikian helped provide the DNA evidence that helped exonerate Tapp. They support the idea and are even helping Ricks draft the bill.
There's no word on the exact amount those who were wrongfully convicted will receive, but according to KTVB, Ricks says it would be around $50,000.