Proposed legislation in Kansas seeks to pay wrongfully convicted - KCTV5 News

Proposed legislation in Kansas seeks to pay wrongfully convicted

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Similar legislation has failed in previous years, but Innocence Projects believe this year could be different because wrongful convictions have been highlighted with high profile cases like Lamonte McIntyre. (Angie Ricono/KCTV5) Similar legislation has failed in previous years, but Innocence Projects believe this year could be different because wrongful convictions have been highlighted with high profile cases like Lamonte McIntyre. (Angie Ricono/KCTV5)
KANSAS CITY, KS (KCTV) -

Kansas is just one of 18 states that offer no compensation if a person is wrongfully convicted, but a proposed bill would change that.

It outlines a clear compensation route for prisoners where they could petition the court for $80,000 a year. The program is modeled after the compensation program in Texas.

Similar legislation has failed in previous years, but Innocence Projects believe this year could be different because wrongful convictions have been highlighted with high profile cases like Lamonte McIntyre.

McIntyre’s case became the focus of numerous KCTV5 News investigations because it was such a mess. He was released in October when the current prosecutor decided to drop all charges.

“It's a bittersweet thing. It's not all good. I’m free I'm great thanks. Now what?” questioned McIntrye.

McIntyre and two other men, who were wrongfully convicted, recently sat down with KCTV5 to discuss what happened to them.

“There's stuff that will never come back you know there's stuff you'll never be able to do. Now my kids are grown adults, they have their own lives. They don't call me dad, they call me Floyd. They call another man dad,” said Floyd Bledsoe.

Bledsoe spent 16 years in prison before a judge set him free.

Richard Jones made national news when an Innocence Project found a man with stronger connections to his case. That man looked almost exactly like Jones and even had the first name of Ricky.

Jones says starting over is rough.

“No, I haven't been able to find a job. I don't know what I want to do,” said Jones.

The compensation law would help these men start over.

If the legislation passes, McIntyre could receive $1.84 million.

Jones would receive $1.36 million

Bledsoe could ask for 1.28 million in compensation.

The three men KCTV5 interviewed made it clear compensation is about accountability, and they question what happens when there is none.

“I think that's why they do what they do. They don’t have to do anything in Kansas .. If everyone is held accountable for their actions then the justice system should be held accountable also,” said Jones.

“I was illiterate to the law they took advantage of me. That's predator. They are doing to someone right now as we speak. But who cares who cares?” said McIntyre.

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