Convict could be freed, then paid for prison time
Once facing the prospect of spending his life in prison, 39year-old Allen Wayne Porter now faces the possibility of spending his remaining years as a wealthy man thanks to a state program that reimburses inmates for time wrongfully spent in prison.
Porter’s lawyer, Casey Garrett, said that her client, a convicted sexual assailant who last week won the first round of his “actual innocence” case in a Houston courtroom, hasn’t given any thought to the money he could receive for years he spent behind bars.
“It’s not an issue until everything is final,” she said. “He’s waiting for the ruling to be official.”
But the prospect of Porter’s possible freedom — and his prospective windfall — has incensed a female victim of the 1990 robbery-rapes that sent Porter to prison.
“This would be downright wrong,” said the woman, who’s not convinced of Porter’s innocence. “If the State of Texas gave him that kind of money — whew! I’m a victim, and to think you’d pay a criminal.” His life sentence for rape was found in error last week.
State officials said that if Porter elects to pursue reparations from the state, he should be eligible for a one-time payment of $80,000 for every year he was wrongfully confined. Porter served slightly more than 19 years in prison, but 12 of those stemmed from another sentence.
Porter would also receive a lifetime of monthly checks representing a percentage of interest on the total sum. Additionally, he should be eligible for health benefits and assistance in returning to mainstream society.
All of that, though, is contingent on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals agreeing with Harris County state District Judge Joan Campbell, who last week found the former rap artist’s life sentence for sexual assault was in error.
Porter was sentenced to life in connection with a June 18, 1990, Houston robbery and rape.