Sam Snow, one of the 28 soldiers imprisoned after the WWII era death of an Italian soldier at Fort Lawton, got the good news recently that he and the other black soldiers or their families would get an apology and compensation to go with their overturned convictions. And what is the compensation for 15 months of prison and 63 years of wrongful accusations? Exactly $725. That's back pay, and nothing else, he had coming, says the Army. ?They don?t care," Snow responded. Reports CNN:
If the payment had been adjusted for inflation, Snow would have received $7,768.13, according to the inflation calculator on the Labor Department's Web site. If the $725 had been invested in 1946, when Snow was discharged from the Army, at 8 percent interest, compounded annually, it would have been worth more than $82,000 by now.The Fort Lawton injustice, chronicled in Jack Hamann?s 2005 book On America Soil, inspired Rep. Jim McDermott to seek an exoneration for a crime Snow and others didn't commit. Most folks were expecting a proper compensation from the Army as well, but Pentagon officials say they have to go by the law, which doesn?t allow for adding accrued interest, adjustments for inflation or compensation for lost benefits. McDermott told CNN he doesn?t blame the Army and will see what else Congress can do. Yet, will Snow live to see it? Now 83, he?s one of just two surviving Fort Lawton defendants.