Monday, August 27, 2007

Pardoned man doesn't mind wating for compensation

Gilbert Amezquita waited for eight years in prison to prove his innocence, but he doesn't mind waiting a little longer to be compensated for the wrongful conviction, reports the Houston Chronicle ("Pardoned inmate is fine with this wait," Aug. 24):

Amezquita was released from prison in November after the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled that the evidence in the aggravated assault case that sent him to prison for eight years actually pointed to another man.

The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles recommended a pardon in May and Amezquita anxiously awaited the day when Gov. Rick Perry would sign the document declaring that he is actually innocent.

Perry approved the pardon on Aug. 17, qualifying Amezquita for compensation under the state's wrongful-conviction law.

But as eager as they were for Perry's signature, Amezquita and his attorney, Roland Moore of Houston, aren't rushing to claim that compensation just yet. State lawmakers this year increased the amount of compensation from $25,000 to $50,000 for each year of incarceration.

However, the law doesn't go into effect until Sept. 1. So, by waiting until after that date to file his compensation application with the state Comptroller's Office, Amezquita will be eligible to receive up to $400,000 rather than the $200,000 he had first anticipated, according to his lawyer.

A spokesman for the Comptroller's Office confirmed that the rate of payment is based on when an application is filed, rather than when a pardon is received.

Good for him. He deserves every penny, and it will still never make up for what's been taken from him and other innocent people accused and convicted of crimes in Texas.


Anonymous said...

If the BPP said he should be pardoned in May, why did it take Perry until Aug to sign the papers? For goodness sake, what does the man do all day????

Anonymous said...

He'd like it even better if the people who wrongly sent him away got sent away for 30 years each.

Anonymous said...

Perry combs his hair and looks in mirrors and windows he passes by to be sure every hair is in place.

I really don't understand why it take the BPP and TDCJ to do their jobs. An Inmate gets a parole date, but yet days and sometimes months go by before the hearing is held. What is up with this? The peole could be with their famililes. Who knows some have family memebers who are very ill and need to see that person soon. Why does Texas let this continue to happen?