Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) issued a letter of support for a new bill introduced by Congressman Sam Johnson (R-Texas), HR 3086. The bill would prevent the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) from collecting taxes on the financial reimbursement to wrongfully incarcerated individuals when they leave prison. HR 3086 would end the tax on compensation and provide fair taxation and legal justice.

Since 2000, 263 people have been found innocent using new DNA techniques. Though they were already made to pay a price regardless of their innocence, they are made to pay an additional price on the reparations they receive to the same government that locked them away by mistake.

Moreover, the proposed reforms bolster the credibility of our justice system. If wrongful convictions can be expected to happen, then subsequent recompense should also be expected. The nation does itself no favors by this tax penalty in the court of public opinion.

ATR urges legislators in the House and the Senate as well as grassroots activists to support this common-sense reform. Innocent people released from prison already paid a heavy price. Taxing them is no proper way to say “We’re sorry”.