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Bill increases compensation for wrongly convicted

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Legislation under debate at the Capitol would significantly increase compensation for those wrongly convicted and incarcerated.

One of the bill’s authors, Rep. Mark Pocan, says a guilty person gets more help from the state upon their release from prison than someone who was wrongly convicted. Pocan and Rep. Garey Bies are proposing payouts for exonerated prisoners from $5,000 for every year behind bars to a maximum $50,000 a year.

Wisconsin Innocence Project co-director Keith Findley said the Badger State is dead last on compensating those who are wrong convicted and imprisoned. The organization has used DNA to free 14 wrongly convicted prisoners since 1998.

The State Journal reports the bill has little chance of passage this session. But, Pocan’s staff says it’s well positioned for early consideration next session.

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