In 2014, Minnesota joined several states to offer compensation to persons who served time in prison for a crime they did not commit. Wrongful convictions have been on the rise lately, thanks in large part to state “innocence projects” and have gained particular attention with the Netflix series, “Making a Murderer.”
Attorneys Joseph Gangi and Daniel Bellig currently have an appeal pending before the Minnesota Court of Appeals, challenging application of the new compensation statute. A judge denied an award of compensation to a person who was declared innocent by the Minnesota Supreme Court. As written, the compensation statute requires the prosecutor to dismiss the charges, which did not happen in this case because the conviction was thrown out by the Supreme Court. The argument before the Court of Appeals is that this dismissal requirement is unconstitutional in violation of equal protection because an innocent person is arbitrarily denied just compensation the State of Minnesota has committed itself to awarding.
Oral arguments on this appeal will be heard in mid-April 2016.
For more information about this issue or other criminal matters, please contact Joe Gangi at 507-625-2525.