Skip navigation
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Monetary Compensation for the Wrongfully Convicted
Authors: Hailu, Sara
Advisors: Zidar, Owen
Department: Economics
Class Year: 2021
Abstract: Government-provided monetary compensation to restore wrongfully convicted individuals’ welfare varies widely across the United States. Based on legal and forensic economics scholars’ frequently, but imprecisely, proposed alternative statute, I develop a more concrete model and quantitative measure of proposed compensation and evaluate it against compensation under jurisdictions' existing statutes. I find that variation in existing statute compensation in many jurisdictions is largely irrespective of variation in duration of imprisonment. I estimate that individuals are compensated with approximately $438,000 under the existing statutes, which is on average between $635,000 and $2.1 million less than under the minimum to maximum schemes. This corresponds to an average annual proposed compensation of $100,300 to $240,700, for an annual difference of $55,000 to $195,000. Jurisdictions without statutes would have the largest average annual increased compensation under the proposed scheme as compared to under the existing statutes, led by Alaska, Wyoming, and Rhode Island. With every dollar increase in a jurisdiction's average annual existing compensation, the jurisdiction's average annual difference between proposed and existing compensation decreases by $0.81 to $0.92, causing a small percent of individuals – predominantly in West Virginia, the District of Columbia, and Texas, which currently give the highest average annual awards – to be disadvantaged by switching to the proposed scheme.
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Economics, 1927-2022

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
HAILU-SARA-THESIS.pdf1.59 MBAdobe PDF    Request a copy

Items in Dataspace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.