We highly recommend reading this article, published by The Eye in collaboration with the Boston Globe and WGBH radio. The article uses the case of Kevin O’Loughlin to describe the obstacles that people face when trying to get compensation after they have endured a wrongful conviction. The online article includes the audio recording of a radio show in which Howard Friedman is quoted.
In 2004, Massachusetts passed a law, the erroneous conviction statute, which allows wrongfully convicted people to get compensation. The amount of money someone can receive was capped at $500,000 and was not intended to be complete compensation. One of the biggest problems with the law is that the Attorney General’s office spends a long time fighting these cases and negotiates downwards from the cap. As a result, people who were wrongfully convicted can wait years for compensation and then receive an amount that is significantly lower than $500,000. In civil cases, where juries decide damages without a cap, jurors award roughly $1 million per year in custody.
As part of this investigative story, The Eye reached out to our client Lawyer Johnson, who was one of the first people to use the wrongful conviction statute to gain some compensation for his wrongful conviction. Watch a short video of Lawyer telling his story.