Part of Exoneration-Compensation Law Found Unconstitutional
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Supreme Court says part of a statute that paves a way for people who are wrongfully convicted to seek compensation is unconstitutional.
But the justices fixed the law in a way that now makes those who had their convictions reversed or vacated ineligible to seek payment.
Wednesday's ruling comes in the case of Danna Rochelle Back, whose second-degree manslaughter conviction was previously reversed. Back sought compensation for her time in prison, but the statute said she also needed prosecutors to dismiss her case.
The Supreme Court says that requiring prosecutorial dismissal violated the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause. The majority severed that from the statute, along with language that affects people like Back making her ineligible.
State Rep. John Lesch, who sponsored the legislation, says he believes the statute can be fixed.