SB 253 - Under this act, a claimant may bring an action for damages if he or she can prove by a preponderance of the evidence that:

• The claimant was convicted of a felony offense and subsequently imprisoned;

• The claimant's judgment of conviction was reversed or vacated and either the charges were dismissed or on retrial the claimant was found not guilty;

• The claimant did not commit the offense and was not an accessory to the acts that were the basis of the conviction; and

• The claimant did not commit perjury or fabricate evidence, excluding any confession found to be false.

The claimant shall bring such claim for damages within two years after the dismissal of the charges or finding of not guilty on retrial or two years after the grant of a pardon.

The damages awarded shall be $179 per day for each day of imprisonment but no more than $65,000 per fiscal year. Additionally, the damages awarded shall not be less than $25,000 for each additional year served on parole or post-release supervision or each additional year the claimant was required to register as a sexual offender, whichever is greater. The claimant shall not receive compensation for any sentence he or she was serving concurrently for which he or she was lawfully incarcerated.

The court shall order the award to be paid as a combination of an initial payment not to exceed $100,000 or 25% of the award, whichever is greater. The remainder of the award shall be paid as an annuity not to exceed $80,000 per year. The claimant shall designate beneficiaries for the annuity. However, if the court finds that it is in the best interest of the claimant, the court may order the award be paid in one lump sum.

In addition to the damages awarded by this act, the claimant shall be entitled to receive reasonable attorney's fees and court costs not to exceed a total of $25,000, unless a greater amount is authorized by the court. The claimant is also entitled to nonmonetary relief such as housing assistance or counseling as well as tuition assistance.

If the claimant has won a monetary award against the state or any political subdivision in a civil action related to the wrongful conviction, the amount of the award in the action, less any sums for attorneys fees and other costs, shall be deducted from the sum of money to which the claimant is entitled to under this act.

Upon an entry of a certificate of innocence, the claimant shall automatically be granted an order of expungement. The court shall order the expungement and destruction of associated biological samples authorized by and given to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Finally, this act repeals the current provisions relating to restitution for wrongfully convicted individuals proven innocent as a result of DNA testing.

This act is identical to SB 1056 (2022) and to provisions in HB 1847 (2022) and SB 1132 (2022) and substantially similar to SB 1062 (2020) and HB 1244 (2019).


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