Do the wrongfully imprisoned get compensation?

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An excellent Straight Dope article which illustrates once again the Rothbardian critique of the perverse structure of our “justice” system.

[Wilton] Dedge served 22 years of a life sentence for a rape all now concede he didn’t commit. To get relief, however, he first had to get himself exonerated. To do that, he had to convince judges to make new law and fight a justice system seemingly sworn to keep him in jail. After he won access to DNA testing, which then proved that pubic hair from the crime scene wasn’t his, the state argued that Dedge had obtained his DNA evidence too early — i.e., since he’d done so before Florida subsequently passed a law to govern the granting of such access, he couldn’t use the evidence to get back into court. Prosecutors continued to oppose Dedge’s motions on sundry procedural grounds for three years, and, according to the Innocence Project site, went so far as to admit in court that they would oppose Dedge’s release “even if they knew that he was absolutely innocent.” Nice group of people.

10:44 pm on September 3, 2007