Con­vict could be freed, then paid for prison time

Austin American-Statesman - - METRO & STATE - By Al­lan Turner

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.

Allen Porter

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