Fifty delegates, including House Speaker Adrienne Jones, have sent a letter to the Board of Public Works — Governor Larry Hogan, Comptroller Peter Franchot, and Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp — calling on the board to exercise its authority under Maryland law to pay $12 million to five wrongfully convicted men who collectively spent over a century in prison.
From The Baltimore Sun:
“Five petitioners — Jerome Johnson, Lamar Johnson, Walter Lomax, Clarence Shipley and Hubert James Williams — spent a combined 120 years in Maryland prisons for crimes they did not commit,” the letter states. “Maryland judges and prosecutors have deemed these men as actually innocent, and in accordance with state law, each petitioned the Board of Public Works for compensation.”
Lawyers representing the men have asked the state’s spending panel to award $100,000 to each man for each year he spent behind bars.
For more information read the full article in The Baltimore Sun.
Following Wednesday’s Board of Public Works meeting, Governor Hogan released a written statement regarding the process forward for such efforts. From coverage in Maryland Matters:
While acknowledging “the pain and indignities experienced by innocent individuals for crimes they did not commit is unimaginable, and they deserve to be justly compensated as they rebuild their lives,” Hogan suggested that the legislature and the Board of Public Works aren’t the proper agencies to dole out restitution money.
“While the legislature has repeatedly failed to act, our administration will work with the Board to seek out an appropriate third party — such as Administrative Law Judges — that is better equipped to handle these cases and make determinations about compensation,” he said.