51. Compensation for False Arrest and Conviction

In cases of false arrests, false imprisonment, false conviction, false seizure of property, lack of return of property, etc, the innocent party should be compensated with a large amount of money by the law enforcement agency, private party, or other entity involved. Generous compensation should even occur in cases where an unnecessary amount of damage was done in a legitimate search. In cases of false imprisonment and false arrest, the falsely imprisoned or arrested should be entitled to receive a minimum compensation amount equal to the minimum wage rates for each hour, or portion thereof in which this individual was under the direct supervision or detention of law enforcement authorities. The minimum compensation should be $100. In addition, such individuals should be compensated for the amount they would have earned at their regular jobs for each hour of job absence due to such false arrest or imprisonment. Any other provable loss of income from any legitimate source due to such false arrests or imprisonments should also be compensated. All such figures relating to 24-hour minimum wage compensation and lost income should be added together and a punitive multiple should be applied based on the particular circumstanced of each case.

In cases involving the false seizure of property, compensation to the victim should be determined in the same manner as if the property was stolen. The value of the items seized would be added up and a punitive multiple would be applied to that amount.

In cases where an accused had been falsely convicted and placed into prison for a significant length of time, they should also be compensated for the estimated wage earnings they most likely would have earned if they had never been falsely arrested/convicted. For example, if a black, 25-year-old male is arrested and put in prison for 20 years, the following criteria could be used to come up with a number for compensation. The unemployment rate and average annual earnings for people with similar criteria would need to be gathered. Let’s say the unemployment rate is 25%, this would mean that we could calculate the full-time wage earnings for the total amount of time the suspect had been incarcerated, and we would multiply that total number by the inverse of the unemployment rate, thus, 75%.

People who have legally accused others of wrongdoing when they know those charges to be false, should be given the punishment that would be given to the accused if the accused were to have been found guilty of those charges. In addition, a punitive multiple should be applied. For example, if a person accused another person of stealing a $200 bicycle, but the accuser knows the charge to be false, the accuser himself should be charged with stealing the equivalent of a $200 bicycle and should be required to pay the originally accused party both these $200 plus court costs, plus any punitive multiple that would likely have been applied. Assuming a multiple of 3, the accuser would be charged with the attempted theft of ($200 x 3) + $1,000 court costs = $1,600. Thus, the originally accused party would likely have been required to pay the accuser $1,600 if the originally accused party were to have been convicted. Thus, the accuser’s bill for lying about this theft would be $1,600, requiring a punitive multiple to be applied to this amount. In the end, the original accuser could end up paying two or three times the $1,600 amount ($3,200-$4,800) to the party that it had originally accused.

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