Sept 17 2003 Avery

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Sept 17 2003 Avery - Our View One life is worth than S Steven Avery...
Our View One life is worth than S Steven Avery walked out of prison last week a free man after 18 years behind bars. But he walked out without his wife and children, who abandoned him when he was convicted of sexually assaulting and trying to kill a jogger in 1985. He walked out after suffering the myriad indignities and horrors of prison strip searches, inmate violence, 24-hour scrutiny and, we presume, much worse. And when he walked out, the state of Wisconsin came forward and said, "We're sorry for the mix-up. Here's $25,000 to make up for it." That's right. The prime years of Avery's life he went to prison when he was 25 are deemed by the state to be worth a maximum of $25,000. "I'm sure if you went to Mr. Avery and asked if there was any dollar figure that could compensate, there isn't," Gov. Jim Doyle said. Wisconsin legislators, in a bald act of self-protection, have determined that anyone wrongfully imprisoned in the state can petition for $5,000 in compensation for each year,, spent sitting in the big house. But the total cannot exceed ' 825,000. ' Seem fair to you? Almost every other victim of negligence or recklessness in the state can sue for lost wages, pain and suffering and other compensation. Not former inmates. There's not a lot of sympathy for convicts, whether they were imprisoned correctly or incorrectly. As Doyle said, no amount of money can right the wrongs inflicted upon Avery, who was freed after DNA evidence indicated a man now in prison for another assault attacked the jogger near Two Rivers. But that doesn't mean the state shouldn't try. Doyle said he would be willing to raise the $25,000 compensation limit. It seems the least he can do. more 25,000 TOPIC: Innocent man freed after 18 years Students prove Avery's innocence Steven Avery owes his freedom to a group of dedicated and idealistic law school students at the University of Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Innocence Project was founded in 1998 and is co-directed by professors Keith Findley and John Pray. About 20 students, supervised by attorneys, investigate claims of innocence on behalf of prisoners and bring those cases to trial, free of charge. We salute these up-and-coming attorneys, who are getting first-hand glimpses of what can happen when justice goes wrong. The lessons they are learning will serve them well in their careers. The wrongfully accused have a powerful group of allies at the law school. We would suggest the same, procedure used jn civil courts,,. f Estimate the wages an inmate would have - earned - during incarceration, including raises and promotions. Let the convict argue about the value of lost family time and other suffering.- Let a jury sort it out and award damages. This isn't an issue that will confront the state often at least we hope it isn't. But on those rare occasions when someone does wrongfully spend years in prison, he or she deserves more than $25,000. Our View reflects the opinions of the Journal's Editorial Board: Lynn Hicks, editorgeneral manager; Susan Kampmeier, news editor; Brendan Dooley, assistant news editor; Trudy Stewart, senior reporter; and Doug Wojcik, SORW.W.GASH. . unanimously

Clipped from
  1. Stevens Point Journal,
  2. 17 Sep 2003, Wed,
  3. Page 6

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