Are some victims more deserving than others? The Detroit Free Press asks that question in the case of Kelly Merritt, whose identity was stolen by a former roommate who charged more than $10,000 on credit cards created in her name.She never got any court-ordered restitution, but now the identity thief was among inmates who won a settlement for being sexually harassed by state prison guards.
Merritt wants to be repaid from her perpetrator’s share. Now courts are trying to untangle whether the sex harassment victims must use their winnings in the lawsuit to repay their own victims. In Oakland County, Mi., about 1,000 felons each year are ordered to pay restitution to their victims. Currently, $107 million in restitution is owed. The county expects it will get just a small fraction of the money from felons who either can’t find a job or disappear after their release from prison.