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RIOTERS GET RICH! 

RIOTERS GET RICH! The infamous Attica prison riots happened back in 1971. Forty-three people died and many more were injured.

It now appears that many of the felons who participated in the riots will become multi-millionaires, at taxpayer expense.

Convicted felon Frank Smith was just awarded four million dollars for the injuries and threats he suffered at the hands of the troopers and guards who stormed the prison to regain control of it from the inmates.

On first glance, Smith deserves sympathy. He was subjected to cruel and barbarous treatment. Those who subjected him to this treatment should clearly be punished.

But let's take a closer look. Smith was serving time for armed robbery when the riots took place. More to the point, Smith was no innocent bystander -- not only was he a participant, he actually helped to lead the riots. In fact, he was indicted for murder and kidnapping, although the charges were later dismissed.

Smith is not being held liable for any of the deaths or injuries which took place as a result of the riot. And, of course, Smith will not pay a penny to any of the victims of the crime which first landed him in prison. But the taxpayers of the State of New York are being held liable for not "handling" the riot correctly.

The award of four million dollars is to compensate Smith for the four days of suffering he endured while authorities attempted to retake the prison. While Smith's suffering was severe, the award is equal to a million dollars a day. To put that amount in perspective, the average American family would have to work for 133 years to earn the same amount of money.

Smith's award is just the beginning. 1,280 other inmates are seeking almost three billion dollars in damages.

Perhaps Smith's case is typical of modern American justice. First, he robbed a bank. Then, in prison, he led a revolt which ended with many deaths and injuries. Now, he will walk away a free and wealthy man, while taxpayers who have worked all their lives to make an honest living will barely get by in their retirement years.

When will the madness end?

(Source: Associated Press.)

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