WILKES-BARRE, Pa. — Motorcyclists rode together to the Luzerne County Courthouse in honor of Wrongful Conviction Day in hopes of bringing awareness to the issue facing some in Pennsylvania.
Organizers tell Newswatch 16 that Pennsylvania is one of the few states that does not compensate victims of wrongful convictions. And groups like Bikers For Justice want legislators to change that.
"We're trying to convince them the need for a bill that would provide some kind of compensation for these victims so they can rebuild their lives after being wrongfully imprisoned," said Bill Ayres, Bikers for Justice President.
The ceremony highlighted Jeffrey Deskovic, from New York, who, after being wrongfully convicted and released, has dedicated his career to freeing others who have been imprisoned.
"I know what it's like to not have compensation, my first five years of freedom were without compensation, and that was hell. And my life has changed, and I want for my brethren exonerees in Pennsylvania," he said.
Victims of wrongful convictions were invited to share their stories.
"If you get convicted of a crime, you can go to a halfway house, you can get some type of grant, but if you get found guilty, and you're innocent, and you get wrongfully convicted, you get nothing," Larry Trent Roberts, who was freed with the help of the Pennsylvania Innocence Project.
Victims tell Newswatch 16 they would want to use any compensation to help rebuild their lives after being wrongfully convicted.
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