State Reps. Emilia Sykes (D-Akron) and Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati) announced new legislation to modernize Ohio’s wrongful imprisonment laws, House Bill 411. The legislation would streamline access to justice for people who have been wrongfully imprisoned in Ohio.

“Victims of injustice deserve vindication and reasonable compensation for the time spent in prison that takes them away from their families and community,” said Sykes. “With this bipartisan bill we are giving more people an opportunity to be compensated if they have been wrongfully imprisoned by the state.”

Under HB 411, individuals will still be able to recover compensation for wrongful imprisonment due to proof of actual innocence, but the bill creates an action for compensation due to constitutional procedural errors and misdemeanor crimes to the list of eligible offenses.

“As Americans we believe in a free and safe society, and with that comes protecting the rights of all people, even the accused,” said Sykes. “People should have a simple path to justice when they’ve wronged by the state.”

The legislation is assigned to the House Government Accountability & Oversight Committee for public testimony and further consideration by lawmakers. 

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