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Friday, May 18, 2007

James Tillman: Paid in full

Five million is the least Connecticut can give this individual who spent 18 years in prison for a crime he did not commit.
The Connecticut House Of Representatives agreed unanimously on Wednesday to pay James Calvin Tillman $5 million as compensation for his wrongful conviction in 1988 and incarceration for more than 18 years. Tillman had been sentenced to 45 years in prison on charges of rape and beating of a Hartford woman. He was exonerated last summer after DNA evidence showed he didn't commit the crime.

"I think we all wonder, could we be so kind and gentle and humble as we find this person," Rep. Kenneth Green, D-Hartford, said of Tillman, who said he was still trying to acclimate himself to the environment outside the jail.

"He did not deserve to be incarcerated for 18 1/2 years. Five million dollars is the least that we can do," Green said, according to AP reports.

The bill now goes to Gov. M. Jodi Rell, who has already indicated her willingness to sign it.