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Wrongly convicted Texans become instant millionaires
AP via American Statesman ^ | Sept. 5, 2009 | Jeff Carlton

Posted on 09/06/2009 6:33:51 AM PDT by deport

Wrongly convicted Texans become instant millionaires

New law makes Texas most generous state for payments to cleared prisoners.

DALLAS — Thomas McGowan's journey from prison to prosperity is about to culminate in $1.8 million, and he knows just how to spend it: on a house with three bedrooms, stainless steel kitchen appliances and a washer and dryer.

"I'll let my girlfriend pick out the rest," said McGowan, who was exonerated last year based on DNA evidence after spending nearly 23 years in prison for rape and robbery.

He and other exonerees in Texas, which leads the nation in freeing the wrongly convicted, soon will become millionaires under a new state law that took effect this week.

.........

Exonerees will get $80,000 for each year they spent behind bars. The compensation also includes lifetime annuity payments that for most of the wrongly convicted are worth between $40,000 and $50,000 a year — making it by far the nation's most generous package.

McGowan and the others are among 38 DNA exonerees in Texas, according to the Innocence Project, a New York legal center that specializes in overturning wrongful convictions. Dallas County alone has 21 cases in which a judge overturned guilty verdicts based on DNA evidence, though prosecutors plan to retry one of those.

.........
End snips



TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Extended News; Government; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: innocenceproject; prison; texas
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To: GeronL

no, i’m not familiar with the story. can you point me in the right direction.


101 posted on 09/07/2009 12:04:51 PM PDT by jdub (A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.)
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To: wolfcreek
I hate to ask -- but Austin, TX (State Capital, Dell Computers) or Austin, MN (of Hormel fame)?

Cheers!

102 posted on 09/07/2009 1:10:28 PM PDT by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: wolfcreek
Your about page says you've been to Texas. We're you asleep?

Close enough. Attended a wedding in Galveston. Good thing it wasn't hurricane season :-)

Cheers!

103 posted on 09/07/2009 1:14:16 PM PDT by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: grey_whiskers

Slept in a mule barn/cabin in Crested Butte CO. at -30 F.

Good thing I had a great sleeping bag.

Got up to a balmy -10 F. the next day.

Guessing it *feels* colder in MN. (as I sit here posting in shorts and a tanktop. 96* today)

have a nice winter!


104 posted on 09/07/2009 1:15:19 PM PDT by wolfcreek (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lsd7DGqVSIc)
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To: Ditter
Wouldn't surprise me -- IIRC this friend had worked in Texas a long time ago; mayhap they didn't like his foreign accent ("Ya'll ain't around from here, are you, boy?")

Cheers!

105 posted on 09/07/2009 1:15:43 PM PDT by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: grey_whiskers

Texas, of course.

Texas has many a mile of coastline but, Galveston is probably the worst example. Further south you go, the better it gets.

I’ve lived here most of my 50+ years and can’t say I’ve seen anywhere near the *whole* state. It’s just too damn big.

Happy non-Labor Day!


106 posted on 09/07/2009 1:21:47 PM PDT by wolfcreek (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lsd7DGqVSIc)
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To: jdub

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/2331576/posts

You gotta go and read the whole story, its pretty wild.


107 posted on 09/07/2009 1:35:32 PM PDT by GeronL (http://libertyfic.proboards.com ............. http://tyrannysentinel.blogspot.com)
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To: grey_whiskers
I find it hard to believe because Texans are usually very open and friendly. Maybe he didn’t like the climate (I could understand that) or maybe the guy was just an A...hole that nobody liked.
108 posted on 09/07/2009 2:02:43 PM PDT by Ditter
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To: jdub; Victoria Delsoul

I was never talking about past cases.

And as far as DNA, there’s lots of crime, particularly nonviolent crime where DNA plays no roll.

Bank scams, confidence scams, robbery, you name it.

There are people who will kill for $80,000. Just because you won’t doesn’t mean others won’t.

It is you who watch too much CSI. People get convicted all the time with just circumstantial evidence. No science magic involved at all. Setting up a crime event so it points to you isn’t difficult with a little planning.


109 posted on 09/07/2009 5:17:12 PM PDT by DB
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To: DB
I wasn't talking about past cases either.

Yeah, there are a lot of people who will kill for $80,000, but I don't think they can pull off a masterful plot to get themselves wrongfully convicted and then have the DNA to clear their case.

Evidence is hard to get rid of, such as footprints, finger prints, saliva, hair etc. Even a thief in the type of crimes you mentioned would leave some type of evidence that would be discovered and examined.

But hey what do I know?  I watch too much CSI, though so far I haven't seen any with Larry Fishburne.

110 posted on 09/07/2009 5:51:26 PM PDT by Victoria Delsoul
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To: wolfcreek
Sorry for the confusion...please allow me to explain.

And you mentioned people from 3M, and I didn't know they had facilities in Texas...so I got confused.

My apologies.

111 posted on 09/07/2009 7:06:14 PM PDT by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: Victoria Delsoul

Everything you assume is violent crime.

There’s lots of other crime where DNA plays no role. Foot prints play no roll. Saliva plays no roll. Hair plays no roll.

Any number of white collar crimes use non of the above.

Most crimes get little police attention when it comes to detailed scientific evidence. That takes time and money of which they are unwilling to spend much of on your loss. See how much evidence the police take if your house gets robbed. It isn’t a CSI world.


112 posted on 09/07/2009 8:57:21 PM PDT by DB
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To: coloradan
Corrupt labs was part of it:

Houston Crime Lab Articles

113 posted on 09/08/2009 9:09:08 AM PDT by ravingnutter
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To: DB

The idea that a carreer criminal would be able to create a fake crime scene and set himself up then arrange for exculpatory evidence to be discovered all without being discovered tells me you have never had to deal with the vast majority of criminals.

Criminals is criminals cause criminals is dumb.


114 posted on 09/09/2009 3:50:24 PM PDT by dpa5923 (Small minds talk about people, normal minds talk about events, great minds talk about ideas.)
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To: dpa5923

The mob will make a business out of it.


115 posted on 09/09/2009 4:15:49 PM PDT by DB
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To: DB
There are people that will kill other people for far less than $80k.

From "THE LAST SAMURAI"

"You want me to kill Japos, I'll kill Japos. You want me to kill the enemies of Japos, I'll kill the enemies of Japos. You pay me and I'll kill anyone you want. I just want you to know, though, that I'd kill you for free."

116 posted on 09/09/2009 5:36:08 PM PDT by UCANSEE2 (Where's this tagline thing everyone keeps talking about?)
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To: DB
Is it really so far fetched that these people won't try to game the system?

There are always some people who will try to game the system, no matter what the system is, no matter how good it's intentions.

Look at our current President.

117 posted on 09/09/2009 5:38:27 PM PDT by UCANSEE2 (Where's this tagline thing everyone keeps talking about?)
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To: Allegra

Now, where have I heard this before...


118 posted on 09/13/2009 6:12:17 AM PDT by Lurkin Lurch (Pay no taxes, Get no vote)
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