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Man whose burglary conviction was overturned awarded $240K

April 15, 2020 GMT

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas man who spent nearly two years behind bars before his 1987 burglary conviction was reversed by the Kansas Supreme Court has been awarded nearly $240,000.

Attorney General Derek Schmidt said Tuesday in a news release that it will not appeal a Sedgwick County Court ruling that Bobby Harper is entitled to compensation. Harper also was granted a certificate of innocence, along with education and counseling benefits.

The attorney general’s office had asked a court to reject Harper’s claim because it says Harper cannot prove he’s “actually innocent,” as the compensation law requires. The state argued the 2018 statute was not intended to apply to people whose convictions were overturned by insufficient evidence or a legal technically, as in Harper’s case.

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Besides Harper, five other people have filed claims for compensation under the wrongful conviction statute.