Document Type



Civil Rights and Discrimination | Criminal Law


In the United States, over 2,900 people have been exonerated for crimes they did not commit. While some exonerees currently qualify for compensation for their wrongful convictions, less than 40% have received any type of financial support. This Note examines the history of wrongful convictions in America as well as the historical background of the Fifth Amendment. It then looks at the current compensation schemes available to exonerees and analyzes the evolution of takings jurisprudence. This Note argues that a wrongful conviction is a taking of an exoneree’s labor under the Fifth Amendment and, therefore, constitutionally entitles an exoneree to just compensation.