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Assembly bill moves to pay wrongfully convicted man

By: Eric Heisig//August 20, 2013//

Assembly bill moves to pay wrongfully convicted man

By: Eric Heisig//August 20, 2013//

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Robert Lee Stinson smiles with his sister, Charlene Stinson, in New Lisbon after being released from prison on Jan. 30, 2009. Stinson served 23 years in prison for a homicide he didn't commit, and was awarded the maximum $25,000 in compensation by the Wisconsin Claims Board. Stinson and other activists are calling on states to raise the compensation limits allowed for exonerated plaintiffs. (AP File Photo/Andy Manis)
Robert Lee Stinson smiles with his sister, Charlene Stinson, in New Lisbon after being released from prison on Jan. 30, 2009. Stinson served 23 years in prison for a homicide he didn’t commit, and was awarded the maximum $25,000 in compensation by the Wisconsin Claims Board. Stinson and other activists are calling on states to raise the compensation limits allowed for exonerated plaintiffs. (AP File Photo/Andy Manis)

The Assembly version of a bill designed to pay thousands to a Milwaukee man who spent 23 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit was introduced Tuesday.

If passed, the bill would allocate $90,000 from the state’s general fund to Robert Stinson, 49, who was wrongfully convicted of first-degree intentional homicide.

The Assembly bill is sponsored by state Rep. Dale Kooyenga, R-Brookfield. The Senate version was introduced Aug. 7 by Glenn Grothman, R-West Bend.

Stinson was convicted in the death of 63-year-old Ione Cychosz, who was found beaten to death in an alley near her home. Her body was covered in human bite marks. But during Stinson’s trial in 1984, the testimony ignored the fact that Stinson was missing a tooth where the bite marks indicated a tooth should be, and he had an intact one where the perpetrator didn’t.

The charge was dropped in 2009.

The state claims board, which awarded Stinson $25,000 in December 2010, recommended that state lawmakers give Stinson an additional $90,000.

The proposed bill says the payment would release “this state and its state officers, employees, and agents from any further liability” in Stinson’s case.

This is the second time a bill has been proposed to pay Stinson. Sen. Lena Taylor, D-Milwaukee, sponsored a bill last year, but it died in the Legislature’s budget committee.

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