Neel Lalchandani, who has secured over $15 million in state compensation on behalf of wrongfully convicted individuals, was quoted in The Baltimore Sun, USA Today, and The Baltimore Banner following the release and exoneration of Adnan Syed this month. Syed’s case was detailed and brought to national attention through the podcast, “Serial.”
Neel is an authority on the Walter Lomax Act, recently passed Maryland legislation that sets a standard compensation formula for state exonerees. Between 2021 and 2022, he represented several clients who each received significant state compensation amounts under the bill, including exonerees Kirk Bloodsworth, the first Maryland exoneree to receive additional compensation as a result of the bill, as well as several other clients, including Bernard Webster and Leslie Vass. The compensation formula outlined in the law multiplies Maryland’s average median income by the total number of days an individual spent in prison.
Neel described the legal hurdles and harsh realities exonerees face in their fight for justice and reintegration into everyday life. “Exonerees are often released with absolutely nothing,” Neel told USA Today. “We’ve had clients who’ve been released with not even a bus ticket to get a family member’s house. And without state IDs, without health insurance.” According to Neel, the additional compensation benefits afforded through the Walter Lomax Act – like health care, housing vouchers and tuition assistance – are critical for individuals released from prison.
Above all, Neel expressed how important it is that clients “be able to live the rest of their lives in comfort and dignity with some amount of peace,” which he told The Baltimore Banner. He said that he is often struck by just how much his clients’ experiences continue to haunt them following their release, a recovery made even more challenging by legal hurdles and the amount of time it takes to reach justice.
Neel is also on the legal team currently representing the Harlem Park Three, three men who each served 36 years in prison for a murder they did not commit after homicide detectives coerced false testimony. BGL has a long history of obtaining significant verdicts and settlements and is committed to our client’s ongoing reentry into society as well.
PLEASE FIND NEWS COVERAGE BELOW:
“Adnan Syed may be entitled to millions from the state. Men who’ve spent decades in Maryland prisons warn it could never be enough” | The Baltimore Sun (October 20, 2022)
“What’s the value of decades lost in prison? Adnan Syed could get millions, but exonerated people often face a legal maze in US” | USA Today (October 23, 2022)
“Adnan Syed may be entitled to millions from the state. Men who’ve spent decades in Maryland prisons warn it could never be enough.” | The Chicago Tribune (October 24, 2022)
“For Maryland exoneree, $550K in state compensation helps – but can’t restore all that he’s lost” | The Baltimore Banner (October 24, 2022)