For James, there is a dark lining to the silver cloud he now appears to be under. If he gets better, he gets closer to going back to prison, even if he wins the Maine Supreme Court battle and his sentence runs while he is in the hospital. He now has nine years left.

If his recovery allowed him to go to the prison’s general population, of course, he would have many of the same privileges — and possibly more than — he has gained at Riverview.

But he does not want to go back to prison.

“My goal is to stay here, get the time to run concurrent, and get a sentence reduction,” he said.

For more on Michael James, see “Arbitrary Imprisonment,” by Lance Tapley, July 19, 2006.

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