LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Michigan’s attorney general has approved $1.3 million in compensation for a 61-year-old man who spent nearly three decades in prison before being exonerated in the arson-related deaths of his wife and two young daughters.
Dana Nessel’s office says the award was approved Thursday following a review of David Gavitt’s claim under the state’s Wrongful Imprisonment Compensation Act. Compensation is calculated based on $50,000 for each year a person is in prison.
Gavitt, of Ionia, was sentenced in 1986 to life without parole and spent 26 years in prison before an Ionia County prosecutor agreed the arson evidence behind his conviction no longer was credible.
The case helped inspire the compensation act.
Thirty-two states and the District of Columbia provide money to people rebuilding their lives after being wrongly convicted.