In 2010, North Carolina resident Greg Taylor was declared innocent of the crime for which he had spent 17 years in prison. Three years later, he is being paid handsomely for the time he spent behind bars.
Taylor was the first inmate to be exonerated by North Carolina’s Innocence Inquiry Commission. The commission examines claims of innocence by incarcerated felons. It was established after several North Carolina inmates were exonerated after spending years in prison, and it is the first commission of its kind in the country.
Taylor was imprisoned in 1993. At the time, he was convicted of murdering prostitute Jacquetta Thomas. Taylor never pleaded guilty to the murder. When the innocence commission reviewed his case, they discovered questionable practices at the states crime lab. Blood evidence that was used to convict Taylor was analyzed at the crime lab and has since been discredited.
After being exonerated, North Carolina Gov. Bev Purdue awarded him a package of $750,000 a year. The package was to be given to him in increments of $50,000 a year. But Taylor, who spent much of the prime of his life behind bars, was not satisfied with the deal.
He sued the State Bureau of Investigation for his wrongful incarceration, and yesterday, Taylor announced how much money he will be given by the state. The total?
A whopping $4.6 million dollars.
"I am just glad it's over," Taylor said. "If I never see another courtroom, I will be happy ... Not a day goes by when I don't think about prison.”