By Jim Vertuno
The Associated Press
AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Supreme Court has ordered the state to pay about $2 million to an ex-inmate who spent 26 years in prison for murder before his conviction was overturned.
Billy Frederick Allen's attempts to get the money have been watched as a key case in developing standards for when ex-prisoners should be compensated. State Comptroller Susan Combs resisted paying Allen, arguing his conviction was overturned because of ineffective lawyers, not because he had proven his innocence.
But the state Supreme Court says the criminal courts showed Allen had a legitimate innocence claim and he should be paid.
Allen was convicted of two 1983 Dallas-area murders. He was freed in 2009 and sued the state for compensation for wrongful imprisonment.
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