A free man for less than a week, Lamonte McIntyre says he is just trying to take his time trying to get “acclimated” and get “back to [his] life.” But at age 42, he is starting from scratch — he has no resume, no work experience. Even though he spent years behind bars for a crime he never committed, McIntyre will get no financial or social support from the state. Kansas, where McIntyre was incarcerated, is one of 18 states that offers zero compensation for those who’ve been wrongfully convicted.
In Missouri, the state will pay $50 a day for wrongful incarceration. However, the individual must be proven innocent by DNA. Colorado offers $70,000 a year. Michigan gives $50,000 a year. “We are stealing a part of their lives and they are not guilty of what they’ve done. And they should have more than an apology from the state,” said Kansas State Sen. David Haley, a Democrat from Kansas City, Kansas. For the last two years, Haley has tried to push for a bill to compensate individuals who have been wrongfully convicted. Both times, his bills have failed. Last year, Senate Bill 125 had a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill would have compensated individuals $80,000 for each year of wrongful incarceration, similar to what the state of Texas pays