Every year, the group Mothers Against Drunk Driving puts out a report that rates each state on how well it addresses drunk driving. Specifically, states are rated on five criteria MADD considers to be critical to reducing drunk driving. These include things like whether states have sobriety checkpoints, “no refusal” events and child endangerment laws that increase penalties for driving drunk with a child in the car.
In our post last week, we began a discussion about the high number of exonerations in the U.S. in recent years. In 2013, for example, at least 87 people in the United States were exonerated, many of whom had spent years or even decades in prison for crimes they didn’t commit. There has been at least one wrongfully convicted individual exonerated here in Wisconsin within the past couple years.
How do you compensate someone for the loss of years of their life? How do you compensate someone after wrongfully taking away their freedom? How do you compensate someone after destroying their reputation by erroneously accusing them of a horrible crime? In short, what compensation would possibly be appropriate for individuals who have been wrongfully convicted and wrongfully imprisoned?
Last month, we wrote that Wisconsin legislators have been working to pass bills that could significantly reduce the number of overdose deaths from street drugs such as heroin. The rate of fatal heroin overdoses has risen sharply nationwide in recent years.