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Missouri Senate Approves Payments to Wrongly Convicted

By AP/KWMU

Jefferson City, Mo. – The Missouri Senate gave final approval Tuesday to a bill that would provide for restitution to convicts sent to jail, then exonerated of their crimes by DNA evidence.

Under a House amendment the payments could be as high as $18,250 dollars for each year spent in prison.

The bill itself requires DNA samples from all felons before they are set free.

Current law requires DNA testing only of people convicted of a violent felony or sex offense.

To fund the expanded testing, a $30fee would be charged to everyone convicted of or pleading guilty to a felony.

A $15 fee would be charged to anyone convicted of or pleading guilty of a misdemeanor.

The restitution provision says only that the state "may" pay it -- not shall pay it.

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