Saturday, March 19, 2016

Wrongful Conviction Act

Mississippi has statutes which provide for compensation when an individual is wrongfully convicted.  This was an issue on Thursday in Hall v. State of Mississippi located here.   Hall was indicted for burglary and later convicted.  On appeal, the Mississippi Supreme Cour reversed finding that Hall was convicted of a crime for which he was not indicted, and that Hall did not waive indictment. Hall v. State, 127 So. 3d 202 (Miss. 2013). Thereafter Hall filed suit seeking  compensation under the Wrongful Conviction Act, M.C.A. Sect. 11-44-1 to -15.  The circuit court dismissed the case finding that Hall had failed to establish his innocence as required by Section 11-44-7(1)(b), because the Order Passing to Inactive Files was neither a dismissal nor a nol pross pursuant to Section 11-44-3(c). Hall appealed and the Mississippi Supreme Court reverse noting that:
"Here, though, what the district attorney passed to the files was the indictment for cause number 11-178CR, which is what comprised Hall’s burglary-of-a-building charge. Based on double-jeopardy grounds, because Hall was acquitted of the burglary charge by a  jury, Hall is entitled to a dismissal of the indictment with prejudice, as that was the only charge contained in the indictment. Contrary to the State’s contention and the circuit court’s ruling, this particular case meets the statutory prerequisites of Section 11-44-3(1)(c)."

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