Compensating Colorado’s Wrongfully Convicted
Photo: Exoneree Robert Dewey riding with friend Lara McClearen.
Innocence Project client Robert Dewey was released from Colorado’s Mesa County Courthouse on April 30 after DNA testing proved his innocence in a 1994 Grand Junction murder. Six months later, Dewey survives on Social Security payments, assistance from the Innocence Project’s Exoneree Fund, and donations from members of the public, reported the
Dewey’s release marked the first DNA exoneration in the state and sparked a conversation about compensating the wrongfully convicted. Presently, Colorado is one of 23 states without a compensation statute, but Rep. Angela Williams hopes to change that. According to the
Rep. Angela Williams, a Denver Democrat who’s gathering opinions from prosecutors and defense-minded advocates, is still working to hammer out the more controversial details of the bill she’ll sponsor when the state legislature convenes in January.
“Everyone believes this is the right thing to do,” Williams said. “The easy part of this is deciding ‘What do we give them?’ The hard part is figuring out all the different scenarios that could happen in a court room” and who counts as “wrongfully convicted.”
The Innocence Project’s model legislation for a state compensation bill provides monetary compensation to people who have been wrongfully convicted because of actual innocence, whether exonerated through DNA testing, or pardoned, or through some other means.
Innocence Project’s model legislation
National View: 27 States Have Compensation Statutes: Is Yours One?
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J.D. July 24, 2017 at 5:54 am
Truly happy to this , his representatives really pulled though in a big way… Surely no amount is loss of prime time of life, freedom, voting…. And he did it with a bill that was found to be unconstitutional by Federal Supreme Court D.C.? As of April 19th 2017 People vs.Nelson Colorado, Federal no. 15-1256. I myself have not been so lucky, after serving full sentence full parole complete no violations with payment’s for U.A’s and parole visits never restored for violations and tort’s committed against me and never committed any crime under state or federal law’s… Colorado really doesn’t care anymore and my post Appeal reversed on harmful errors doesn’t get any attention? I’ve called every agency in the state recall afew saying they would call back….but never did? Left abandoned and given the feeling from them like l did something wrong? I didn’t go into a court and lie under oath like others did to ensure a conviction l was a sacrificial lamb to them for no real reason on earth? J.D. found in Colorado statute under affimitve defense, congratulations Mr. Dewy glad to see at least one to succeed!