In yet another stunning example of our country’s justice system, Alan Northrop is seeking compensation after spending 17 long years in prison for a crime he did not commit.
After being convicted for the rape of a Clark County woman in 1993, Northrop racked up thousands of dollars of back pay owed for child support—a debt he feels, should be payed by the state. Northrop and co-defendant Larry Davis were both cleared of all charges in July 2010 thanks to new DNA evidence.
As Northrop shares, it’s more than money he lost from the nearly two decades in jail he spent as an innocent man.
“I didn’t get to watch my kids grow up, I wasn’t involved with their everyday life, you never get that back,” said Northrop.
Northrop, who was once a successful logger and excavator, was sent back out in the world with nothing. He reportedly owed 17 years worth of child support, which amounted to tens of thousands of dollars.
“I picked him up from the jail at square one, and all my brother had was a box of stuff,” said Patrick Northrop.
“He was a victim of crime he didn’t commit, and what did he get in return? A big box of stuff and a child support bill.”
According to reports, a house bill has been introduced that is suppose to help men like Northrop. If passed, the bill would pay wrongfully convicted inmates $50,000 for each year they served in prison, and an additional $50,000 for each year spent on death row.
This is the third time the bill has hit a vote in the state of Washington. Other times the bill was shot down because of “budget limitations.” Amazingly, compensating innocent men and women who spend time in jail had no place in the “budget,” while there’s plenty of funding available to make life for comfortable for shellfish and other marine life.
While making the state compensate men like Northrop would be a start, what the bill did not address was the justice system that put him there in the first place. It would be safe to assume that if wrongful convictions were not so common, or if prosecutors were punished for unethical practices, funding victims of the justice system would be much less of an issue.
(H/T: Q13 Fox)