Comptroller Franchot’s Statement on Compensation for Wrongfully Incarcerated

More than $9 million approved at today’s Board of Public Works

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (October 30, 2019) - Comptroller Peter Franchot today released this statement following Board of Public Works’ approval of payments to five wrongfully incarcerated men:

“I’m very pleased that today, the Board of Public Works is finally moving forward with approving compensation to five Marylanders who spent years behind bars for crimes that they did not commit … Years that they spent incarcerated, separated from their families, friends and loved ones … Years they could have spent pursuing their hopes and dreams while living their lives freely.

“Jerome Johnson, Lamar Johnson, Walter Lomax, Clarence Shipley and Hubert James Williams are victims of a broken criminal justice system. Although no dollar amount can restore what was taken from them, I hope that today’s action brings some solace and a sense of vindication for these five individuals.

“Each of these five petitioners will receive $78,000 for every year they spent incarcerated – an amount equal to our state’s annual median household income. We chose the median household income intentionally because through their erroneous conviction and incarceration, these five men were deprived of the opportunity to earn an income and contribute to their communities and to our state.

“I would like to thank the Board staff for their hard work behind the scenes that made today’s action possible. They have done a tremendous public service for the five petitioners and our state and we are grateful for their efforts.”

MEDIA CONTACTS:          Susan O’Brien -  sobrien@comp.state.md.us
                                        410-260-7305 (office); 443-875-8540 (mobile)

                                        Alan Brody -  abrody@comp.state.md.us
                                        410-260-6346 (office); 443-924-1473 (mobile)