In another case of wrongful conviction, Chaunte Ott, is seeking to collect damages for the 13 years he spent in prison. Illinois man Kevin Fox, was awarded $8 million for the eight months he spent locked up for a shocking crime he didn’t commit, but Wisconsin doesn’t think they have to pay that much for their mistakes. Pop the hood.
Chaunte Ott spoke quietly to the five members of the State Claims Board Wednesday as he asked for compensation for the 13 years he spent in prison for a crime a court found he didn’t commit.
“I had absolutely nothing to do with the murder of this child,” Ott said in seeking $25,000, the maximum allowed under state law for a wrongful conviction. “This is absolutely against my nature. I’ve never been a violent person.”
The Milwaukee County district attorney’s office declined to refile charges against Ott, 36, in June after DNA from a serial murder suspect was found on the body of 15-year-old Jessica Payne.
John Pray, co-director of the Innocence Project, … told the panel that the DNA results and the recantations establish “clear and convincing evidence” of Ott’s innocence, which is the standard for compensation.
Pray noted that Ott was imprisoned at a time when many men establish careers and families. Ott said he’s working toward an associate’s degree that will allow him to work with underprivileged children.
Pray asked the Claims Board to consider asking the Legislature to award more than $25,000, along with some legal fees to the Innocence Project for the thousands of hours he and UW-Madison law students spent working on Ott’s case.
“For 13 years in prison, it ($25,000) is a shockingly low figure,” Pray said. “Mostly, I want this gentleman to get some measure of what he’s entitled to.”
This is a damn shame. This man deserves real compensation for all those wasted years.