Innocence Blog

After 23 Years in Prison, Wisconsin Man Seeks Fair Compensation

Posted: December 29, 2010 3:25 pm

Robert Stinson served 23 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit, and now under Wisconsin law he is eligible for only $25,000 in total  compensation. There’s a chance, however, that the state will go above its own law and provide additional money to Stinson.

The Wisconsin Claims Board, which approved the initial $25,000 payment this week, also said it would ask the state legislature for $90,000 in additional funds for Stinson. And Wisconsin Innocence Project co-director Keith Findley told the Superior Telegram that this move means state officials are beginning to accept that Wisconsin’s compensation law is inadequate.

The current law was first passed in 1913, and provides for $5,000 per year of wrongful incarceration – up to a total of $25,000. ($5,000 in 1913 dollars, adjusted for inflation, would be worth more than $100,000 today).

Of the 27 states with compensation laws, Wisconsin’s compensation law has the second-lowest maximum dollar amount. New Hampshire caps compensation at $20,000.

Read more about exoneree compensation