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An exoneree’s story continues

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Palo Alto Weekly

[...] What many people don’t know about is another struggle Walker faced after prison. Under state law, Walker, having been exonerated, was entitled to receive $100 for each day he spent falsely imprisoned. Yet the payment required special legislative approval, and the bill affecting him got mired in partisan wrangling during a late-night legislative session in September 2003.

Much of “$100 a Day” focuses on the drama on the state Assembly floor, and on the major role played by State Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, who was then an assemblyman. Making use of Assembly footage of the proceedings, the film shows Simitian working to win his colleagues’ votes.

“When Mr. Walker was arrested, he had a good job as a self-employed mechanic. ... Today he has no home, no job, no income and no assets,” Simitian says at one point. “During the 12 years that he was incarcerated, his son grew up, and his father died. It is very rare on this floor of this house, members, that we have an opportunity to set a wrong right.”  [...]

View the full story (Palo Alto Weekly)