Prisoners: For a Stolen Life: $11 5,000

In 1925, Stephen Dennison, 16, a boy from a broken home, swiped $5 worth of candy from a roadside candy stand near Salem, N.Y. For that one act, the boy drew a ten-year burglary sentence-and was later buried alive for 34 years by an avalanche of injustice that matches the nightmare novels of Franz Kafka.

"Through a tragic error," ruled Judge Richard S. Heller for the New York Court of Claims last week, Prisoner Dennison was wrongly classified as a low-grade moron in 1927, declared criminally insane in 1936, and illegally confined without judicial review in a state asylum...

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