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After spending 17 years in prison for a crime he did not commit, Man will no longer have to pay for the costs of his imprisonment

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After spending 17 years in prison for a crime he did not commit, Andrew Malkinson will no longer have to pay for the costs of his imprisonment. The UK’s Justice Secretary, Alex Chalk KC, has decided to eliminate the rule that required Malkinson, aged 57, to cover board and lodging expenses from any compensation he may receive under the government’s miscarriage of justice scheme.

Malkinson’s conviction was overturned last month after new DNA evidence emerged, linking another potential suspect to the crime. The idea of deducting living expenses from his compensation was deemed “abhorrent” by Malkinson, who welcomed the change and stated that it is the first of many necessary alterations in the justice system to protect the innocent.

Justice Secretary Alex Chalk expressed that fairness is a fundamental aspect of the justice system, and it is unjust to deduct living expenses from victims of miscarriages of justice. The decision means that independent assessors will no longer make deductions based on “saved living expenses” in future compensation payments. The maximum compensation payable under the miscarriage of justice compensation scheme is £1 million for more than 10 years of imprisonment.

However, Malkinson’s lawyer pointed out that this sum amounts to only £58,824 for each year wrongly spent in prison, significantly less than an MP’s basic salary of £86,584. She called for a complete overhaul of the appeals system to address such miscarriages of justice fully.

Support from political figures such as Sir Bob Neill and Alistair Carmichael has been expressed, praising the swift response of the Justice Secretary to amend the guidance. Liberal Democrat justice spokesman Alistair Carmichael urged the government to review past cases where wrongfully convicted individuals were forced to pay for saved living expenses and consider full compensation for these individuals.

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To be eligible for compensation under the miscarriage of justice compensation scheme, an individual must apply within two years of being pardoned or having their conviction reversed based on newly discovered evidence that proves their innocence beyond a reasonable doubt. With this rule now scrapped, it is hoped that innocent individuals like Andrew Malkinson will no longer face additional financial burdens for crimes they did not commit.

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Birminghamgist Staff is a News Reporter, making waves in the UK with insightful and Engaging reporting.

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