Monday, March 28, 2005

The price of freedom?

We've blogged in the past about Ray Krone, an all-around nice guy who was released from death row in Arizona after DNA proved that another guy actually did the crime. Now comes welcome news that Ray has settled with the county that prosecuted him and will be receiving $1.4 million for his wrongful conviction and incarceration.

Does that sound like a lot of money? At first glance it does. But then consider this editorial, which was published by the Daily Record:

The Price of Freedom

Whats your freedom worth - literally, in dollars and cents? Unless you've been, say, sentenced to a lifetime behind bars for a murder you didn't commit, you probably havent given it much thought. But Ray Krone had 10 years with nothing but time on his hands to ponder the question.

Last week he got an answer: $1.4 million. Thats the settlement amount in a wrongful murder conviction suit he filed against Maricopa County, Ariz. As Krones mom, Carolyn Lemming of Dover Township, says: It sounds like a lot, until you consider:

His lost wages and benefits for a decade.

His legal bills - about $800,000 total.

The misery of 10 years in jail.

Do the math, and the settlement adds up to about $380 a day rotting in prison. Subtract his legal fees from that total and he got about $164 a day - or about $6.80 an hour.

Thats just $1.65 more than minimum wage. Sounds like Maricopa County got off easy.

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