Exonerated ex-inmates owed $2.5M, snagged by budget woes

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Jail bars (WQAD photo)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The state’s budget impasse has put a hold on payments to former Illinois inmates who’ve been exonerated of crimes.

The (Bloomington) Pantagraph reports 14 men are owed a total of $2.5 million as compensation for the years they served in prison before they received certificates of innocence from the state. The payments range from $5,000 to $220,732.

But the claims weren’t approved as part of a short-term budget that expires Friday.

John Hanlon, director of the Illinois Innocence Project, says the money is a recognition that the state wrongfully kept the men in prison. The payments are based on the length of time in prison. The maximum is $220,732.

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