2010 Mississippi Code
TITLE 11 - CIVIL PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE
Chapter 44 - Compensation to Victims of Wrongful Conviction and Imprisonment.
11-44-7 - Determination of eligibility for compensation; award of compensation.
§ 11-44-7. Determination of eligibility for compensation; award of compensation.
(1) In order to obtain a judgment under this chapter, a claimant must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that:
(a) He was convicted of one or more felonies and subsequently sentenced to a term of imprisonment, and has served all or any part of the sentence; and
(i) He has been pardoned for the felony or felonies for which he was sentenced and which are the grounds for the complaint and the pardon is based on the innocence of the claimant which must be affirmatively stated in the pardon; or
(ii) His judgment of conviction was reversed or vacated; and
1. The accusatory instrument was dismissed or nol prossed; or
2. If a new trial was ordered, he was found not guilty at the new trial; and
(b) He did not commit the felony or felonies for which he was sentenced and which are the grounds for the complaint, or the acts or omissions for which he was sentenced did not constitute a felony; and
(c) He did not commit or suborn perjury, or fabricate evidence to bring about his conviction.
(2) If the court finds that the claimant was wrongfully convicted and incarcerated pursuant to subsection (1) of this section, the court shall award:
(a) Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000.00) for each year of incarceration regardless of the number of felonies for which a claimant was convicted , but the total amount for each claimant shall not exceed Five Hundred Thousand Dollars ($500,000.00). There shall be no compensation for any preindictment detention. This award shall be paid to the claimant in installments of Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000.00) per year until the award is fully paid. The state may purchase an annuity to satisfy this obligation.
(b) Reasonable attorney's fees for bringing a claim under this chapter calculated at ten percent (10%) of the amount awarded under paragraph (a) of this subsection for preparing and filing the claim, twenty percent (20%) for litigating the claim if it is contested by the Attorney General, and twenty-five percent (25%) if the claim is appealed, plus expenses. These fees shall not be deducted from the compensation due the claimant, nor is counsel entitled to receive additional fees from the client for a claim under this section.
(3) The award shall not be subject to:
(a) Any cap applicable to private parties in civil lawsuits;
(b) Any taxes, except that those portions of the judgment awarded as attorney's fees for bringing a claim under this chapter shall be taxable as income to the attorney; or
(c) Treatment as gross income to a claimant under the provisions of Title 27, Chapter 7, Mississippi Code of 1972.
(4) A claimant may choose to pursue a claim under this chapter in lieu of pursuing a claim against the State of Mississippi or a political subdivision thereof under the Mississippi Tort Claims Act, Section 11-46-1 et seq., Mississippi Code of 1972. Any claimant who obtains an award under this chapter may not obtain an award by reason of the same subject against the State of Mississippi or a political subdivision thereof under the provisions of the Mississippi Tort Claims Act, Section 11-46-1 et seq., Mississippi Code of 1972.
(5) The immunity of the State of Mississippi and any political subdivision thereof is hereby waived with respect to the claims described in this chapter and within the limits prescribed by this chapter.
Sources: Laws, 2009, ch. 472, § 4, eff from and after July 1, 2009.
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