Enacted in 2004, the Virginia wrongful conviction compensation statute is unique in the United States. The decision to award compensation rests not with a court or an administrative agency, but with the state legislature. Unlike other compensation statutes that create an entitlement to compensation when a person is found eligible, the Virginia statute explicitly says that “[t]he payment and receipt of any compensation for wrongful incarceration shall be contingent upon the General Assembly appropriating funds for that purpose. This article shall not 2 provide an entitlement to compensation for persons wrongfully incarcerated or require the General Assembly to appropriate funds for the payment of such compensation.” Va. Code § 8.01-195.10(A).
GW Paper Series