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Wisconsin legislator considering bill to increase wrongful conviction compensation


MADISON, Wisconsin — A Republican legislator says he's considering crafting a bill that would increase state compensation for wrongful convictions.

Currently, state compensation is limited to $5,000 per year of incarceration with a $25,000 maximum payout.

Rep. Dale Kooyenga of Brookfield said Wednesday outside an informational hearing detailing the work of the Wisconsin Innocence Project, which works to clear the wrongfully convicted, that he hoped to introduce a bill increasing compensation later this year.

He didn't go into detail about what the bill might call for, saying it's difficult to put a price-tag on years lost in prison. He did say compensation should include helping the wrongfully convicted get back on their feet, perhaps through housing or helping them go back to school.

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