Claims for Erroneously Convicted Persons (PC4900)
California Penal Code sections 4900 through 4906 require that the Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board (VCGCB) process claims of persons who claim to be erroneously convicted of felonies. The Erroneously Convicted Person statutes were enacted in January 1941. Prior to 2000, compensation was limited to a maximum of $10,000. In 2000, the law was changed to allow compensation of $100 for each day served in prison after the conviction with no maximum amount.
Unlike the burden of proof for criminal cases, where the prosecutor must prove that a defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, a claimant who applies for compensation as an erroneously convicted person must prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that he or she did not commit the crime that resulted in his or her incarceration and that he or she did not contribute to the arrest or conviction. A preponderance of evidence has been described as just enough evidence to make it more likely than not that the fact the claimant seeks to prove is true.
Since 1984 the VCGCB has received 116 claims. Of the claims received, 16 have been approved, 42 have been denied and 49 have been rejected for various reasons. To file an Erroneous Conviction Claim, a claimant must fill out the “Erroneously Convicted Person Claim Form” and submit it to the VCGCB within two (2) years after judgment of acquittal or discharge given, after a pardon granted or after release from imprisonment.