A prisoner who’s been incapacitated for the past decade may have his life sentence commuted so he can be transferred to a veteran’s home. Forty-nine-year-old Dennis James Fredericksen was sentenced to life in prison for shooting his wife to death on the sidewalk outside their home in Clinton back in 1990. Shortly after entering prison, though, he had a heart attack. Fred Scaletta of the Iowa Department of Corrections says oxygen was cut off to Fredericksen’s brain, and he’s now a quadriplegic in a vegetative state. Scaletta says Fredericksen has been in a prison infirmary for more than 10 years, and it’s not the best place for such a patient. He says Fredericksen is no longer in any danger of harming someone.And, the state wouldn’t have to shoulder the entire cost of caring for Fredericksen if those veteran’s benefits kick in — effectively transferring the cost of his round-the-clock care from the state to the feds.
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